Hit on Hollywood

Filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger, the lead character in the intermittently funny Hollywood satire Bowfinger, starring Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy, has a dream: He sees a FedEx truck cruising down the street toward his office, but instead of driving by, as it does every day, the truck stops, and the driver gets out with important overnight packages just for him. As dreams go Bowfinger's is not a lofty one, but when you are as far down on the entertainment-industry status ladder as Bowfinger is, you don't allow yourself to dream too big. The day finally comes, however, when this would-be mogul has to take action or creditors will shut down his shabby little production company. At that moment the only script in his possession is an alien-invaders saga penned by his Iranian accountant. It's a terrible script, but then again, movies go into production every day with terrible scripts. What those pictures have that Bowfinger's doesn't is a big-name star, and since Bowfinger's chance of getting an above-the-title star to appear in his film is something less than zero, he concocts a scam in which a famous action-adventure actor named Kit Ramsey (an extraordinary Murphy, in one of two roles) appears in the film -- not just without his permission but also without his knowledge. It's an outrageous premise, and from the outset, director Frank Oz flogs his performers to keep the pace from flagging -- unfortunately with only mixed results.


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