Writer: David Sheffield, Barry W Blaustein, Tom Shadyac, Steve Oedekerk (Screenplay) Jerry Lewis, Bill Richmond (Original Screenplay)
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Coburn, Larry Miller, Dave Chappelle, John Ales
Plot: Grossly overweight yet good-hearted professor Sherman Klump takes a special chemical that turns him into the slim but obnoxious Buddy Love.
Tagline – Inside Sherman Klump, a party animal is about to break out.
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Offensive Comedy
Story: The Nutty Professor starts as we meet likeable and overweight professor Sherman Klump (Murphy) who has been working on a formula to help people lose weight, he has had results on the test subject and after he is pushed too far he tries it on himself.
With the formula being a complete success and he loses all his weight becoming the obnoxious Buddy Love, the problem comes when Sherman was trying to romance Carla Purty (Pinkett) which becomes complicated with his new identity.
Thoughts on The Nutty Professor
Characters – Sherman Klump is an overweight professor, he is liked by his students and colleagues with his research searching for a cure for an overweight gene. After being roasted by a comedian he takes the formula to help him lose weight which transforms him into another man, he must balance an honest weight loss over a quick fix. Buddy Love is the thinner version of Sherman, he is obnoxious quick witted and most importantly to Sherman, thin. He starts to take over Sherman’s life with his attitude risking his future. Carla Purty is a new teacher on campus that Sherman takes a shinning to, she ends up torn between the two version of Sherman, one is sweet while the other is what she wants to look at.
Performances – Eddie Murphy gives us a mix of good and bad performances here, anytime he is in the fat shoot he is mostly insulting to watch, when he is Buddy he gets to show off his better side of his comedy skills. Most of the rest he is lazy fart jokes. Jada Pinkett Smith is solid enough in her role though her character isn’t the most difficult to play. James Coburn is good in his supporting role as the benefactor.
Story – The story here follows an overweight professor that creates a formula which can make him thin only his thinner side is a lot different than the normal man he was. This does have an important message about accepting who you are or working towards improving yourself without a quick fix. The problem is we are to focused on Eddie Murphy trying to bring a host of characters to life that are mostly offensive in the wrong way, the generic fat people are only sweet with different generations being seen differently, the clumpy mistakes being made even though the scientist is brilliant. If we didn’t focus on fart or fat jokes we would have a very good story that really works with the right performers.
Comedy/Romance – The comedy is the film mostly offends because fart, fat jokes just don’t work for a smart audience it feels like most is bottom of the food chain comedy. The romantic angle is here, but doesn’t get touch on enough with most of it getting forgotten after a while.
Settings – We have a university setting which is fine for a professor, the problems come when we leave here and tend to go in any location that Sherman wouldn’t for an extra attempted laugh.
Special Effects – The effects for the most part are the best part of the movie, the use of the fat suit helps with the characters even if we don’t like them they don’t look out of place.
Final Thoughts – This is n offensive comedy that misses a lot more than it hits, we have the once great Eddie Murphy wasting his time with lazy jokes and is only watchable as the villain of the story.
Overall: Lazy humourless comedy.