McDowell’s Golden Arches, Big Mick, and seedless buns. Oha’s stirring rendition of “She’s Your Queen.” Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate. Soul Glo. What’s your favorite Coming to America moment?
A consistently entertaining, hilarious, and genuinely charming comedy that somehow only gets finer the more you revisit it, director John Landis’ 1988 classic Coming to America found him reuniting with his Trading Places star Eddie Murphy (as well as another couple of other actors, if only for one inspired if-you-didn’t-see-it-you-won’t-get-it moment…) to great success, earning four times its budget and launching the career of Arsenio Hall, who would kick off his groundbreaking talk show less than a year after the film’s release. Murphy plays Akeem, prince of the fictional wealthy African nation of Zamunda, whose independent and humble spirit clashes with the royal excess and strict adherence to tradition of his father, King Jaffe Joffer (a pitch-perfect James Earl Jones) and mother, Queen Aoelon (Madge Sinclair). When a marriage is arranged for him, Prince Akeem decides to leave Zamunda to find his true love – and where’s a better place for a royal to find his bride than Queens? Accompanied by his persnickety sidekick Semmi (Arsenio Hall), and disguising himself as a foreign student working at a fast food restaurant that in no way resembles any major known fast food chains, he meets and falls in love with Lisa (Shari Headley), daughter of the restaurant’s owner (John Amos) – but can love last when Akeem is concealing his true identity? And what happens when Dad finds out?
A two-time Oscar nominee for Deborah Nadoolman’s alternately regal and metropolitan costume designs and Rick Baker’s truly transformative makeup effects (there aren’t as many actors in that barber shop as it may appear…), Coming to America is always a great source of nostalgia, a masterful Murphy performance, and no shortage of immortal quotable lines. Presented by OC Weekly’s Friday Night Freakouts, presenting a cult, genre, and throwback classics every Friday night at 11pm at The Frida! Encore screening Sunday, February 18 at 7:30pm!
Friday, February 16 – 11pm
Sunday, February 18 – 7:30pm