Bowfinger is a 1999 cult film directed by Frank Oz. Bowfinger depicts a down-and-out filmmaker in Hollywood attempting to make a film on a small budget with a star who does not know that he is in the film. It was written by Steve Martin, and stars Martin, Eddie Murphy, and Heather Graham.
- [looking at FedEx truck coming into his street] See that FedEx truck? Every day, it delivers important papers to people all around the world. And one day, it is going to stop here, and a man is going to walk up and casually toss a couple of FedExes on my desk. And at that moment, we- and by we, I mean me - will be important.
- [lamenting to his agent about being passed over for choice roles and the agent could hardly get a word edgewise] White boys get all the Oscars. It's a fact. Did I ever get a nomination? No and you know why? 'Cause I ain't played none of them slave roles, or get my ass whipped. That's when you get the nominations. Black dude play a slave role, gets his ass whipped, gets the nomination, white boy play an idiot, they get the Oscar. Find me a script as a retarded slave, then I'll get the Oscar.
- [Bowfinger starts assembling his talents with two prepared for a test scene]
- Daisy: [reads script] "I could never be with you, Todd. I'm loyal to Keith. I'm loyal to him. I could never, never kiss you." [looks at Todd and they torridly kiss]
- Bowfinger: Okay, that was very good. Let's try it one more time, Slater, this time without the erection.
- [at a clothing store in LA, the crew discreetly shoots a scene but Carol wants to get close to Kit despite a rule for all talent to not interact with him off-production]
- Store Manager: The store would be happy to offer you these clothes without charge if you'd come back Friday, let us take a picture for LA Style of you wearing the clothes.
- Kit Ramsey: I can do that. It'll cost you $1,000. I'll be here Friday, 4:00.
- Store Manager: I'm sure that could be arranged.
- Ramsey: Hundred-dollar bills.
- Store Manager: Right.
- Carol: [faces Kit] I know I shouldn't do this, I just want you to know that you were so real in your response to the aliens. I wasn't even sure I could be a pod person, but now I'm enjoying it because you made the aliens come alive. It was like they were living inside of me. At first I was nervous about us having sex but now I think it's fine as long as we do it in a professional manner. There'll be a lot of people watching. I won't bother you anymore. [lightly touches Kit's cheek with her hand. Kit gets unsettled]
- [when Kit disappears, the team hold auditions for potential lookalikes and one actor seems promising]
- Actor: Then I studied at the Moscow Arts Theater for two years and did a year at the National in London. I'm currently doing a midnight production of Waiting for Godot here in L.A.
- Bowfinger: And are you in the union?
- Actor: Yes, I am. [gets kicked out]
- [Bowfinger confronts Daisy over hooking up with another actor]
- Robert: We're finished! It's over between us!
- Daisy: But why?
- Robert: You slept with Jiff.
- Daisy: So?
- Robert: Never thought of it that way.
- Daisy: I'll see you tonight at eight?
- Robert: Okay.
- [Having discovered the truth about the Chubby Rain shoot, Terry Stricter and the authorities finally corner Bowfinger's crew]
- Terry Stricter: [parts bushes and sees the film crew] Well, it seems the paranoid are sometimes actually being followed.
- Robert: This film is only for Madagascar and Iran. Neither of which follow American copyright law.
- [Bowfinger visits the MindHead offices and shows them some footage of Kit Ramsey, especially one scene at Staples Center after a game]
- Kit: [with head covered by a paper bag] Hey, Laker Girls. [partly opens coat to show his naked body; Laker Girls laugh] It's not funny! [scampers off]
- Terry Stricter: You realize all courts in the country would consider this blackmail!
- Bobby Bowfinger: I don't know anything about blackmail. I'm just a guy with a great film. I need a shot of Kit saying, "Gotcha, suckers" and a couple of close-ups. Or we'll use a shot of Kit wagging his thing at the Laker Girls. Which is a great ending, though not such a good ending for Kit. It could sort of stop his money flow and possibly make that family film he's about to do, just go, pfft.
- Stricter: We'll have to think about it. We'll have to think about it, for Kit.
- Bowfinger: Now that you've had time to think about it, what do you and the other fellows here at MindF'ng Head think?
- The Con is On.
- Steve Martin as Robert "Bobby" Bowfinger
- Eddie Murphy as Kit Ramsey / Jefferson "Jiff" Ramsey
- Heather Graham as Daisy
- Christine Baranski as Carol
- Terence Stamp as Terry Stricter
- Robert Downey, Jr. as Jerry Renfro
- Jamie Kennedy as Dave
- Adam Alexi Malle as Afrim
- Kohl Sudduth as Slater
- Barry Newman as Hal
- Alejandro Patino as Sanchez
- Alfred De Contreas as Martinez
- Ramiro Fabian as Hector
- John Cho as Nightclub cleaner
- Phill Lewis as Audition actor
- Marisol Nichols as Young audition actress
- Bowfinger' could just be viewed as an out-there, over-the-top spoof about Hollywood, films, celebrities and even the Church of Scientology. But Martin has written a sweet story about a group of outsiders with impossible dreams.
- Too much of 'Bowfinger' involves the filmmakers' generically wacky pursuit of the increasingly paranoid Kit, who flees into the clutches of a pseudo-Scientology outfit called MindHead (their slogan: 'Truth Through Strength').
- O'Hehir, Andrew (August 12, 1999). "Bowfinger: Martin and Murphy team up for a good-natured sendup of the mindless summer blockbuster -- and just barely avoid making one themselves.". Salon. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
- For the record, Mr. Martin denies MindHead is based on Scientology.
- McGurk, Margaret A. (August 13, 1999). "Murphy and Martin: Commandants of comedy strut their absurdist stuff in ‘Bowfinger’". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Co. Inc.). Retrieved on 2008-01-10.
- I view it as a pastiche of things I've seen come and go through the years ... Scientology gets a lot of credit or blame right now, because they're the hottest one.
- it takes swipes at stupid action films ... [and] ... the ageism of the industry.
- [The film is] arch and knowing about the ways of Hollywood ... [including] producers who want to keep their cars more than their kids when they get divorced.
- Schwarz, Leonard (August 1999). "Movies - Review: Bowfinger". Palo Alto Online: pp. Section: Movie Screener. Retrieved on 2008-01-09.
- Martin the writer plants some wicked barbs in Hollywood's rear end about creative financing of movies and hoarding of profits, the art of the deal, hipper-than-thou attitudes and exploitation.
- Steve Martin's performance as Bobby Bowfinger is one that is not to be missed, especially if you are choosing a career as a producer.
- Scheer, Laurie (2002). Creative Careers in Hollywood. Allworth Communications, Inc.. p. 135. ISBN 1581152434.
- Steve Martin takes gentle but funny aim at Hollywood [in the film.]
- Voelz Chandler, Mary (August 15, 1999). "Critics' Choice: The best of the arts this week, compiled by News entertainment writers and critics". Rocky Mountain News.
Compared to 'The Producers'
- [The film has] ..the madcap velocity of Mel Brooks' The Producers.
- Denerstein, Robert (August 13, 1999). "Follywood Tinseltown Takes it on the Chin in 'Bowfinger'". Denver Rocky Mountain News.
- Like Mel Brooks' The Producers, it's about fringe players who strike out boldly for the big time.
- The title character in the hilarious, good-hearted Bowfinger is a tireless schemer who, like Zero Mostel in The Producers, is part of a great show-biz tradition: being ruthless, delusional and hellbent on turning lemons into lemonade.
- This hilarious, good-hearted spiritual descendant of The Producers is a comic coup for Mr. Martin.
- 'Bowfinger' is one of those comedies where everything works.
- goodspirited, funny look at a hack Hollywood producer who will go to any lengths to get his film made.
- Bleiler, David; TLA Video (2004). TLA Video & DVD Guide 2005: The Discerning Film Lover's Guide. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 80. ISBN 0312316909.
- This is one terrific comedy that doesn't let up for an instant.
- riotous farce
- frequently hilarious comedy
- Staff (August 20, 1999). "Eddie Murphy doubles the laughs in 'Bowfinger'". Kansas City Star: pp. Section: What's New.
- Martin's back to his zany best ... possibly his best ever.
- funny but frantic and somewhat mean-spirited comedy.
- Staff (December 10, 1999). "Playing at local movie theaters". Deseret Morning News.
- As a diehard Martin fan, I'm still hoping for a comeback, but it'll take better efforts than this to get me back in his cheering section.
- Likeable costars carry this comedy a long way; there are some good laughs throughout, but it's never as satisfying as you'd like it to be.