"Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) has a dream: to one day have the FedEx truck stop
by his bungalow with a package. That would make him an important film producer. To realise
his dream, he sets out to make a film called Chubby Rain, starring the world's greatest
movie star, Kit Ramsay (Eddie Murphy) - but without Kit's knowledge. Bowfinger Productions
does everything it can to make this dream a reality. Even cheat.
If you enjoyed the movie, you will enjoy the DVD - even though neither the deleted
scenes nor the outtakes are as funny as the movie itself. But that's not to say this DVD
isn't worth having. Indeed, the Spotlight on Location feature is one of the best of its
kind on DVD, and the Frank Oz commentary over the movie itself is a delightful combination
of intelligent insight and funny anecdotes.
This featurette covers all the key players and provides a solid backdrop to Steve
Martin's 'silly and clever at the same time' script. We learn how Martin had the basic
idea for the film a dozen years before he wrote it, and how proud he is of it. He remarks,
too, how Hollywood is "ripe to be kidded…and it's harmless kidding but with a
lot of truth." As Oz adds, "Steve Martin makes fun of everybody in Hollywood, so
it's a great equal opportunity script. And slightly subversive…" And at times,
politically incorrect, as when Martin's script calls for illegal Mexican migrants to be
picked up at the border to be used as cheap film crew.
In this satisfying backgrounder, Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin admire each other's
talents, Frank Oz oozes experienced control, Heather Graham is a doll and Christine
Baranski is surprisingly demur.
As for the commentary track, Oz gives a guided tour of the filmmaking process, and
explains how he regrets having to lose several wonderful jokes for the sake of pacing the
film. He also explains how he previewed the film eight times to live audiences in the
final editing process to see how it plays, and adjusted scenes accordingly.
We learn how two of the best scenes were shot: the car park scene in which Eddie
Murphy's character is ostensibly followed by a mysterious woman (in fact a dog with
shoes); and the freeway crossing scene, in which Eddie Murphy (as the nerdy brother to the
'star' of Bowfinger's movie) runs across a freeway between speeding cars and trucks. This
is the sort of extra material that generates value in a DVD. (It also offers dubbed
versions in French, Italian and Spanish.)
With the combination of elements, this is a great workshop tool for anyone exploring
screen comedy - either professionally or from a consumer's point of view. Sit back and let
the good laughs roll."
Andrew L. Urban
"I have a confession to make. I've seen Bowfinger three times, and each time I
laugh more. If you enjoy comedy a la Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy and Frank Oz, you'll get a
lot out of this delightful comedy. There are a million delicious moments - some subtle,
some not – and you can enjoy them all at your leisure on this superb DVD. And once
you've seen the movie a couple of times, you can sit back and let director Oz take the
reins, and hear all about how the film was made. If you're interested in trivia, there's
plenty here, and Oz details how he encouraged his stars to improvise where possible. As
for that wonderful scene when Eddie Murphy crosses a frenetically busy freeway? You'll
find out how it was done. I have plenty of favourite moments in this film, but none more
than Chapter 8 – the restaurant scene, when Martin sets his sights on impressing
Robert Downey Junior's character with more bs than in the hungarian alphabet. As for
Betsy, that adorable dog, who contentedly lies legs astride for most of the film –
she is a real scene stealer – you won't forget the car park scene in a hurry. There
are enough special features to keep you out of mischief for hours – even days!"