In "Bowfinger," Director Frank ("Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "In and Out") Oz's gift for comic timing combines with Steve Martin's witty script satirizing the business of making movies for some of the biggest laughs in any movie this year.
"Bowfinger" also gives Eddie Murphy one of his funniest (and cleanest) roles ever. Murphy has the dual role of Kit Ramsey a self involved, paranoid action flick superstar, and of Jiff, the dorky dunce that low budget movie maker Bobby Bowfinger (Martin) uses as his stand-in when he decides to make a Kit Ramsey movie without Kit's knowledge.
Taking shots at overstuffed stars who go to weird lengths to find meaning in their lives (Terence Stamp is a riot as a Scientology-like guru); actresses who are willing to sleep their way to the top (personified by Daisy, a hilariously avaricious Heather Graham); and studio business types, "Bowfinger" is fast paced and breezy fun.
Martin also hits studio executives to whom a good script is the last consideration (snotty exec Robert Downey Jr. is willing to make Bowfingers atrocious project if Kit Ramsey is involved) and the ways nudity and violence are included for purely commercial appeal. In one priceless bit, Bowfinger asks Daisy if she would be willing to do a nude scene. In ten seconds she rattles off every justification ever given for an actress to take her shirt off, goes through the motions of pretending they are serious standards she must meet, and immediately agrees with a big smile.
Unlike more savage satires of moviemaking like "The Player"-- in which offended artiste Robert Altman attacked the Hollywood culture-- "Bowfinger" is made by commercially successful artists who adroitly satrize the surrounding silliness of moviemaking, but also admit that somehow, despite it all, magic is sometimes the result.