I recently saw a survey of top film critics for the best comedies of all time and Coming to America was in the top 10. It’s been a long time since I watched this so I decided to give it another spin. This film comes from the era when comedies still had a well-thought-out plot and endearing characters (gone are those days it seems). The film credits Eddie Murphy with the story (not the script) and it definitely has that 1980’s classic Murphy feel to it. I love, love, love the callback to Trading Places (also directed by John Landis – one of my favorite directors of all time).
I forgot about the barbershop characters but it’s interesting to note that this was the first film where Murphy dressed up as other characters along with himself in the film. It works great. Arsenio Hall is also awesome here. He’s a funny guy (most people only remember him from his late night talk show). He also plays one of the barbershop characters and has some of the best lines. It’s nostalgic, humorous, and there’s a few uproariously funny moments but it isn’t wall-to-wall laughs. Nevertheless, I can see why critics put this one on the top of the list because it’s so well put together and so quotable. If you haven’t watched it in a while, it’s worth revisiting.