Immersed in luxury and riches, the courteous blue blood and refined heir apparent to Africa's prosperous kingdom of Zamunda, Prince Akeem, summons up the courage to reject an arranged marriage proposal on his twenty-first birthday. Bent on finding true love, the young aristocrat along with his trusted valet, Semmi, find themselves in the strange and unknown urban jungle of New York City's Queens, trying to mingle with their neighbours by posing as humble exchange students. More than anything in the world, the noble prince yearns to be loved for what he is, and not for his title; however, can he find his soulmate in the bustling Big Apple?Written by
LOGO GIMMICK: After the stars circle around the Paramount mountain and "Paramount" and "A Gulf+Western Company" appear, the sky becomes sunnier (pink to yellow) and the camera zooms in over the mountain summit. We then see a valley terrain, and the opening credits begin. See more »
In virtually every shot with Arsenio Hall's barber shop character, his wide glasses reflect the large light reflection screens used in the shot. See more »
Eddie Murphy stars as Prince Hakeem, who comes to America with his servant (Arsenio Hall) in search of a future wife who can respect him for his intelligence, not his money. The film is another '80s fish-out-of-water comedy in the vein of "Crocodile Dundee" -- it delivers some of the best jokes of Murphy's career. Although it never becomes "great" and is quite uneven at times, entering its rough spots where the jokes seem to slow down and become not quite as funny, the movie is always entertaining and Murphy's charismatic lead performance displays his skills as a comedian -- unfortunately Hall is not as fortunate. Frankly, he stinks.
The movie features a wide range of cameos and/or star appearances (before they became stars) -- James Earl Jones, Louie Anderson, and Samuel L. Jackson popping up in various scenes.
The movie works as a sort of sequel to TRADING PLACES (1983) -- both star Eddie Murphy, both were directed by John Landis, both deal with the prospect of "trading places" (or countries, in this situation), etc.
Also, it features a great self-referential moment (linked to Trading Places) when Murphy gives a couple of bums a wad of money. It turns out the homeless guys are more than just familiar faces...
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