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Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Bowfinger Movie Poster Image
Entertaining, great actors but not a home run.
  • PG-13
  • 1999
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.


Mild comic peril, some gross.


Many sexual references, character uses sex for professional advancement (played as humorous).



Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie has a number of sexual references. The character played by Heather Graham has (offscreen) sex with just about every other character (male and female) purely to advance her career. While this is played for humor, without any suggestion that she is being exploited (quite the other way around), parents may want to talk to kids who see this movie about this behavior, as well as the choices Bowfinger himself makes by cheating, stealing, blackmailing, and lying to get his movie made.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byfif May 12, 2009

Mostly funny, some sexual humor

Having studied film and worked on films I found most of the jokes hilarious. There is a lot of mild sexual humor, so it may not be for everyone.
Adult Written byMovieMan26 October 10, 2010

Not the best comedy you'll ever see, but still a good one

A great comedy, although very sexual in nature. The cast is really great and works together well. But, no matter how many good parts there are in this film, it... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDarkdani17 August 23, 2009
Haha this movie is so funny, it's really creative on how his movie gets made. I'm looking to go into the film bussiness and this showed me how things... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2016


This is a funny movie for the whole family, tweens+. There is little language & sex, but nothing that bad. Just focus on the humor of the movie.

What's the story?

Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) wants desperately to make a movie, and as he approaches his 50th birthday he thinks he is running out of time. He tries to interest a studio executive in a script called "Chubby Rain," written by an accountant, and is told the studio will make the movie IF Bowfinger can get Kit Ramsey, Hollywood's biggest action star, to agree to appear in it. When Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) won't even look at the script, Bowfinger decides to go ahead and make the movie around him, just filming him wherever he is without telling him anything about it. Bowfinger takes his $2184 lifetime stash and gets started, with the help of a studio gofer who borrows the equipment (Jamie Kennedy), a very theatrical stage actress (Christine Baranski), and an ambitious ingenue literally just off the bus from Ohio (Heather Graham), who plans to become a star in one week. They set up the camera wherever Ramsey is going to be, and just stage the various scenes around him.

Is it any good?

BOWFINGER has some very funny moments but is oddly low-key, from its slow set-up of the premise to its lack of follow-through on some of the comic possibilities. Some of the humor may be too inside for those who do not follow Hollywood gossip. Watching Martin, Murphy, Baranski, and Graham -- all in fine form here -- is reason enough to see any movie, but in this case the script (written by Martin) is not as strong as it could have been.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what kind of movie could be made by filming family members as they go about their daily lives.

Movie details

For kids who love comedy

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