THE NUTTY PROFESSOR
The Nutty Professor 1996 is a highly enjoyable. All of Eddie Murphys film for about the last eight years prior to this had been a string of critical and box-office duds the likes of The Distinguished Gentleman (1992), Boomerang (1992), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) and Vampire in Brooklyn (1995). The Nutty Professor was a strong return to form and the huge hit that has eluded Eddie Murphy since at least the heights of Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Certainly, subsequent to The Nutty Professor, Murphys box-office name began to return to form, although this was also a period he notedly began to take on more in the way of family-friendly fare.
The central role(s) are an acting and comic tour-de-force upon Eddie Murphys part. He is never more in his element than where he gets the opportunity to indulge his talent for impressions and disguise. In one scene, he plays five of the six people present during an hilariously raucous dinner table scene. The nonsense monologues with the farting father and the grandmother ranting about relations, cunnilingus and lesbians are side-splittingly funny. It is an acting triumph that places Eddie Murphy up alongside other multiple-role comic geniuses like Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers. Equally so, The Nutty Professor is a triumph in the makeup department. Rick Bakers work in turning Eddie Murphy into the 400 pound Sherman is dazzlingly good.
The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000) was a likable sequel. The Nutty Professor was spoofed in Tropic Thunder (2008).
Director Tom Shadyac had previously directed the tv movie Frankenstein: The College Years (1991) then debuted cinematically with the hit Jim Carrey screwball comedy Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994). Shadyac would then go onto make the lame Carrey fantasy outing Liar Liar (1997), Patch Adams (1998), the serious ghost story Dragonfly (2002) and the Jim Carrey fantasy Bruce Almighty (2003) and its sequel Evan Almighty (2007).
(Winner for Best Actor (Eddie Murphy) and Best Makeup Effects at this sites Best of 1996 Awards).