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Holy Man 1998
Description: Eddie Murphy stars as an over-the-top tv evangelist who finds a method to turn tv home shopping into a religious experience, and takes America by storm.
Released: 09 Oct 1998 Director: Stephen Herek Writers: Tom Schulman Actors: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum, Kelly Preston, Robert Loggia Genres: Comedy, Drama
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Holy Man Reviews:

This is one of those "why don't they create 'em like that any more" movies. If it starred, say, Jimmie Stewart and Jean Arthur, everyone would look upon it fondly, as a treasured masterpiece. But no, it's the often-abrasive Eddie Murphy, and the frequently hard-to-take Jeff Goldblum. If you can handle the casting, though, this is a marvelous movie, transcending its formula to deliver moments of hilarity as well as a thoughtful message.Jeff Goldblum is, to me, impeccably cast as an ambitious but unsuccessful salesman. The explanation, soon in the movie, of how he traveled with his father on sales trips, sets the hero up beautifully. We come to understand that his lack of success really stems from a lack of commitment to the no-holds-barred ethos of the salesman. And, of course, that's a nice thing.Murphy plays "G", who may or may not be divine, but certainly is other-worldly. He's the opposite of Goldblum's character: fully centered, with no attachment to anything, least of all the crass commercialism of the shopping network where Goldblum works. Naturally, he disrupts Goldblum's life, but the kicker comes when Goldblum desperately puts G on the air, and finds that sincerity sells better than salesmanship.A number of reviewers have complained that there's not enough of Murphy. Maybe so, if you're expecting a full-on Eddie Murphy vehicle. But Holy Boy is more than just an "Eddie Murphy" movie, and G the sort of showcase role that no actor should resist. It really lets Murphy shine, displaying more subtlety than usual... yet spinning nicely off his usual sarcastic persona.The plot, to be sure, is formulaic. You can see the twists coming a mile away. So what? This kind of cinema is as ritualistic as Greek tragedy, or Kabuki theater. The mission isn't in where it's going, but in how it gets there. And receive there it does, making its tiny Zen mission about materialism vs spirituality in a special and compelling way.And, at times, a hilariously funny way. The 'magic trick' G performs with a Rolex watch is side-splitting. But it's easy topped by the gut-wrenchingly funny antics of G as he roams from one set to other in the TV studio. What he does to Morgan Fairchild is one of the nice moments of sadistic slapstick. (I admire her for appearing in this unflattering scene; she gotta have an nice sense of humor.)I'll admit that the two stars will limit this film's appeal. But even if you're not a fanatic of Murphy or Goldblum, it's worth taking a chance. Personally, I tend to search Goldblum overpowering; I was definitely rooting for the Tyranosaurus to catch up with his asinine "chaotician" in Jurassic Park (1 and 2). But in some roles he just works, and this is one of them. (Another is "Beyond Suspicion," a.k.a. "Auggie Rose.")This is not only a nice movie, it's one that I now pull down off the shelf and watch, far more frequently than many of the better-known 'classics.' I've seen it at least four times, and intend to see it many more.


Just saw this film again for the first time since 1998, and I must admit, it's a lot better than I remembered it. I think back then folks just had method too high expectations for it; that and the fact that it wasn't an "all Eddie Murphy" film--as the reviewer before me place it-- led to its limited success.Jeff Goldblum can receive on my nerves sometimes, but the stark contrast between the personality of his and Murphy's characters in this film makes for some cute funny scenes. As for Eddie, his performance as G is one of the greatest I've ever seen him do: you really do Trust he is a "Holy Man."


I think that most folks are misinterpreting the main purpose of the movie. The entire purpose of the film is to create folks think, especially about their actual lives and materialism. However, rather than taking a rather somber approach throughout the movie, the film tries to take an Al Franken approach, and inform through humor. Perhaps this may be because I personally identified with the message, but still, the nonmaterialistic message definitely strikes home, with comedy sprinkled in. If a light hearted comedy is what you are looking for, then this is probably not the greatest film to watch simply because the film isn't that funny. It isn't entirely deep either, but it does manage to receive the mission across, and makes you think.



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