Eddie Murphy gives the "performances" of his career playing no less than seven roles in this uproarious Jekyll-and-Hyde comedy from Imagine Entertainment. Murphy stars as Dr. Sherman Klump, a kind, "calorically challenged" genetics professor who longs to shed his 400-pound frame in order to win the heart of beautiful Jada Pinkett. So, with one swig of his experimental fat-reducing serum, Sherman becomes "Buddy Love", a fast-talking, pumped-up, plumped-down Don Juan. Can Sherman stop his buff alter ego before it's too late, or will Buddy have the last laugh? Boasting incredible special effects, a super soundtrack, and co-starring James Coburn, Larry Miller, Dave Chappelle and John Ales, this hilarious hit is worth its weight in fun!
Lucky for Eddie Murphy he got ahold of the rights to this 1963 Jerry Lewis classic before Jim Carrey did. Murphy had a comeback of sorts with his Jeckyll-and-Hyde-derived fable of awkward chemistry professor Sherman Klump (Murphy), who discovers a potion that transforms him into the suave, cocky lady-killer Buddy Love (also Murphy). The big difference between the two versions is that Murphy's Sherman is not only a nerdy intellectual but is also grossly obese, which provides the opportunity for some hilarious digital transformation effects, as well as some gentle satire of our culture's attitudes toward fat people. As he did in the hit Coming to America
, Murphy plays multiple roles, and the scenes at the Klump family dinner table, in which he plays everybody, are brilliantly funny. (Murphy won the National Society of Film Critics' award for best actor of 1996 for these performances.) Lewis based his Buddy Love on the 1960s ideal of cool exemplified by Sinatra and the Rat Pack; Murphy stumbles a bit by playing up the oily phoniness of his latter-day Love a little too soon, but for the most part The Nutty Professor
represents a welcome return to form for Eddie Murphy. --Jim Emerson