A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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 ...
- In theaters: August 13, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: January 18, 2000
- Cast: Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Steve Martin
- Director: Frank Oz
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sex-related material and language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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