Coming To America (1988)

Trailer:  Coming To America (1988)

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones  – Directed By:  John Landis

Running Time: 1hr & 56 mins – Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance


Big JD (Host)

Synopsis:   A young prince from an African country comes to age to find that on this day he meets his arranged wife to be.  He finds this to be something he doesn’t want to except and gets permission to come to America to find his wife.  What better place for a King to find his mate… Queens.


Eddie Murphy showcases his talent for multiple characters and meaningful stories in this movie.  The only question is; Why did he stop making movies like this?  I guess popularity has a real big impact on what movies get made in this industry.  Not to state the obvious or anything.

I grew up with this movie and that has some reason for my love for it.  But mainly it’s the characters that make this movie.  Arsenio Hall exemplified his relationship to Eddie Murphy through his role of Semi.  Riding on the coattails of the Prince.  Arsenio’s multiple characters failed to compare to that of Mr. Murphy’s.  Although the reverend was pretty good.  I think if I were to rank Eddie’s characters Top 3 it would be 1. Saul, 2. Randy Watson, 3. Clarence and not making the top 3 would be the main character Prince Akeem which was good but kinda boring compared to the others.  I thought having James Earl Jones play the King was magnificent.  As well as the dad from Good Times was also a nice addition.  And the secret addition of Cuba Gooding jr as a haircut customer, and Samuel L. Jackson as a random thug.  (He did a lot of those type of roles back then.)

The score was great and it will have you singing the title song all day.  The wardrobe was good.  I might get flack for this but, with the cheesiness of the pieces it made it unique and I thought that fit Zamunda well.  Gotta love the King’s crown.  It looks like it was made by a toddler.

One flaw that I found with this movie that I’ve always kinda been aware of was the Love Factor.  Not once was a “I love you” mentioned by her and he was just “assuming” this.  Wasn’t that the problem with her last boyfriend?  Would she immediately be ok with him assuming her love?  I also thought that the relationship seemed forced and moved really quick.  It didn’t seem like it would have really happened.  Lets see, She just got out of a relationship, she knows that her sister likes him, and he has the chance of going back home to Zamunda.  All of these are reasons why they shouldn’t have gotten together.  But in fact they did and not much was made of it.  Oh, and they got married before they even had sex?  Hmmmmm that doesn’t seem very plausible at all.

I want to mention the fact that they introduced another movie that had been made 5 years earlier and also directed by John Landis.  Trading Places.  The two old men that Akeem gave the “pocket change” to was from that movie.  In the same universe!  Well before Iron Man in 2008 Coming to America introduced us to this in 1988.  Pioneers.  J

Comic book Connection:  Samuel L. Jackson – the Avengers, Iron Man 2 etc…

Nudity Bonus:  Felicia Taylor/Bather (T-4:54) Victoria Dillard/Bather (A-4:56) Midori/Bather (T-5:08)




Coming to America was one of the first Eddie Murphy movies I’ve seen. This was done during the prime of his career and to 

me one of his better movies. The story was interesting a Royal member of Zamunda wanting to make his own decisions and find his own wife.

Eddie Murphy and Arsenio’s acting was done well especially with having portrayed multiple characters. The whole cast did well it was interesting to see some small roles to very popular actors like the kid in the barber chair was Cuba Gooding Jr. and The Robber at McDowell’s was Samuel L. Jackson.

Soundtrack was interesting it fit well, even when Eddie Murphy and Sexual Chocolate are singing, or Paul Bates singing as Vanessa Bell walks down the aisle brings out some comedy on its own.

Overall this is one of the better movies for me I think my favorite scene is Eddie Murphy playing the Old Jewish guy at the end telling the joke.



So to all who know me, there are lots of movies that I have should have watched at least once in my life that I have never seen. Surprisingly this is one of them.

Prince Akeem is a young royal prince who wants to take control of his own life and destiny. I probably would too if I couldn’t even brush my own teeth. So Akeem with his faithful if slightly whinny friend, Semmi,  travel to Queens, New York to find Akeem’s future bride. The duo take a job at fast food joint so Akeem can get closer to who he hopes is the girl of his dreams. Like always pretending to be someone you’re not comes back and bites him in the butt, yet like all rom-coms it works out in the end.

The movie was comical and had many enjoyable parts but I think my favorite are the scence that involve the three barbers and the old Jewish guy. The bickers they have back and forth are humorous and kind of what I expect what one would find in a long standing barbershop.

The music was kinda cheesy but what can one really expect from a comedy made in the 80’s.

It was an enjoyable movie but I think because I didn’t catch it in its prime I don’t like it as much as others. I would watch this movie again but probably only if someone else picked it out.




One comment

  1. Issy R. · August 27, 2013

    A classic comedy and one of Eddy Murphy’s best if not the best. Great job guys.

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