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Bowfinger (1999)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 108
Fresh: 86 | Rotten: 22

A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.

89

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 3

A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 73,250

My Rating

Movie Info

A group of wanna-be filmmakers and actors concocts a scheme to make a movie with a major star without having to pay him in this comedy. Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) has struggled for years to make it in Hollywood with no real success; he's convinced that he has to make his big break soon or it will be too late. Bobby has a script, and he has a cast, including an ingenue straight off the bus from Ohio (Heather Graham), a one-time regional stage star who fondly recalls her brief moment of glory

PG-13,

Comedy

Steve Martin

Jan 18, 2000

Universal Studios - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (114) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (86) | Rotten (22) | DVD (19)

The best thing about Bowfinger is the way the script by Steve Martin is tooled to his own and Murphy's comic strengths.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is enjoyable but thin, which is no doubt what was intended.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Preposterous and utterly self-absorbed, this has la-la land down to a tee.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Martin the writer plants some wicked barbs in Hollywood's rear end about creative financing of movies and hoarding of profits, the art of the deal, hipper-than-thou attitudes and exploitation.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is his first screenplay since L.A. Story, yet you get the sense that Martin has lost some of the artistic aspiration he once brought to the movie business. This effort feels like it's just business.

March 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comment (1)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bowfinger never hits a note of high hilarity.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Entertaining, great actors but not a home run.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Hugely funny film that mixes knowing satire with winning stupidity, and has Martin and Murphy in form they have rarely managed in recent years.

February 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A showcase for wit.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Mr. Murphy chews the scenery every chance he gets and it recalls what made him such a star in the first place.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Murphy is wonderful ... The plot is mechanical, clunky and boring.

February 4, 2007 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Just watch two of the still funniest guys in the country do what they do best, without a bad script to get in the way.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

You'll laugh 'til you stop!

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

This all has the potential to become a sidesplitting caper. ... Unfortunately, only a few of the manic scenes work.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

[An] entertaining little comedy that should be forgiven for not living to its potential.

December 2, 2004 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

It's lively and frequently funny -- but why does it leave such a sour aftertaste?

July 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Lest the movie get too saccharine (and it never does), Eddie Murphy is on hand to juice things up.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Hilarious.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

The movie reaches giddy, cartoonish heights, even while it carefully dodges any chance to move beyond skin-deep.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

A wicked satire of the absurdity of the Los Angeles lifestyle.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Bowfinger bears the same relation to satire as reports of the weekend grosses do to journalism.

March 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Audience Reviews for Bowfinger

"Bowfinger" embraces the horrible things that have always come from Hollywood, from the scams to breaking the law, and displays them in a very comedic way in this film, making a film that is clearly going to be terrible from the beginning. Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin shows their true acting talents here as Martin's character runs around the city trying to film Murphy's character to make a film with him as the main star. Things conveniently fall into place and some scenes feel bit easy, but in the end the film is a blast to watch and it really made me laugh a lot. It's not the greatest film in the world, but if you are a fan of films, you should have a blast watching this. The director had an eye for detail her and the screenplay is genius. "Bowfinger" is great!
September 7, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Bowfinger is a terrific comedy film. Steve Martin delivers a great performance. I'm usually not a big fan of Eddie Murphy, but in this film he truly is hilarious and gives one terrific performance. A unique comedy, Bowfinger is different from other comedies. The humour is smart, and the acting is great. Which is something that won't appeal to many film viewers, but to those who love this type of humour, give this film a view. The films story is very original, and Martin and Murphy give hilarious performances.
June 28, 2010
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

I actually think this is a great movie, it's Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy at the top of their game. Neither have made a better movie since, only making this look like even more of a gem. The movie within a movie aspect is done perfectly, I almost want to see a full version of the horrendous-yet-hilarious sci-fi epic they made. I think the shameless nature of a lot of the characters makes it a lot more realistic and likable than it might have been if they were good people.
May 18, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

Occasionally very funny film concerning a down-on-his-luck movie producer who decides to shoot a movie with the biggest action star in the world - only he doesn't know he's in the movie. While the plot is very clever and it executes some things very well, at the end of the movie I couldn't help but feeling it had potential to be something so much better and funnier. It's definitely an average comedy, but with two huge comedy stars like Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy, this thing could've been an absolute riot. I laughed, just not enough to give it a full recommendation.
January 1, 2010
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

    1. Kit Ramsey: Keep it together, keep it together, keep it together.
    – Submitted by Evan T (2 years ago)
    1. Dave: But movies cost millions of dollars to make.
    2. Bobby Bowfinger: That's after gross net deduction profit percentage deferment ten percent of the nut. Cash, every movie cost $2,184.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Bobby Bowfinger: Now that you and your colleagues here at Mindfu - , head have had a chance to think, what do you say?
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Bobby Bowfinger: [Interviewing Jiff for the movie] Would you be willing to cut your hair?
    2. Jiff Ramsey: Well, yeah, but it would probably be better if someone else did it. I've had a few... accidents.
    – Submitted by Francis L (2 years ago)
    1. Kit Ramsey: Gotcha suckers!
    – Submitted by Daniel R (2 years ago)
    1. Jiff Ramsey: Heavenly God! Heavenly God!
    – Submitted by Michael J (2 years ago)
View all quotes (9)

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