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The genius of the movie "Boomerang"

Back in college, I saw the movie Boomerang, the 1992 film starring Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens and Halle Berry. Before long, it came out in VHS (remember that quaint invention, the VCR?), and after watching it a few dozen times, Nipsey and I began to quote the thing dang near non-stop. Hell, it was our Citizen Cane. Just with more sexual humor. And since Orson Welles was in Cane, that’s a good thing.

By the way, isn’t that the hallmark of a good movie? When you can have complete conversations with your friends based on differing bits of dialogue? Anchorman is the latest movie in that genre, which also includes Caddyshack, Stripes and most John Hughes movies. Oh, and Coming to America. Which will be a blog post of its own, probably.

For those of you who haven’t seen Boomerang — and there are way too many of you out there — the movie centers on Murphy as a player (or a ladies’ man, for those who don’t speak hip hop) who chases after Givens but ends up falling for Berry. Isn’t that pretty much what the entire world did in the late 80s/early 90s? We all thought Givens was pretty cool, and then Halle Berry comes along and wow… Robin who?

But I digress… back to the movie. The ultimate player gets played, as Givens uses and abuses him (I think the movie always made Mike Tyson cry). Murphy learns that women aren’t just objects, that love is the best thing in the world, and blah blah blah. Essentially, he learned to stay away from Robin Givens, and that’s one to grow on, you know?

Anyway, Murphy, Berry, Givens, et al, are all advertising folks for a cosmetic company (owned by Eartha Kitt) who are developing a fragrance for a freakish model (the fantastic Grace Jones). Do I have you yet? Kitt… Jones… Murphy… I mean, c’mon! But I’m not done dropping names… Martin Lawrence, David Alan Grier, that guy from the 7up “Uncola” commercials, Tisha Campbell… check the IMDB site for the details. It was a murderer’s row of early 90s urban comedy.

Even Chris Rock has a small roll as Boney-T, the mailroom clerk who, after seeing Murphy depressed from Givens’ treatment of him, uttered the brilliant line, “Man… first the Fat Boys break up, and now this.” Brilliant! But the movie really found it’s place in my memory vault with the performance of the great John Witherspoon, better known as the Ice Cube’s dad in Friday. Witherspoon plays David Alan Grier’s father, who just steals several scenes in the middle of the movie. I won’t ruin it for you… just be prepared.

It stuns me that the movie has a 5.1 rating out of 10 on the IMDB user ranking. OK, maybe some of the early 90s themes didn’t age well. Maybe Martin Lawrence’s best moments in Hollywood were when he was drugged out, brandishing a gun in the street, and yelling at motorists. Hell, maybe Eddie Murphy went from leading man to “guy who always stars with… or provides voices for… talking animals.” But, when you’re 20-21 years old, sleep deprived, hungover and bored, it was a great movie. Boy, wouldn’t that look good as a quote on the movie poster?

Anyway, take a tip from Sweet Monkey Pie and find the DVD. Watch it. Rewatch it. You’ll thank me. And 51% of the voters on IMDB agree.

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