Boomerang [1992]

Eddie Murphy makes a graceless debut as a romantic lead in this comedy from Reginald Hudlin. Murphy stars as a ladies man for whom the tables turn when he suddenly finds himself taken for granted by a lover (Robin Givens). Meanwhile, the platonic friend (Halle Berry) whom Murphy regularly visits is obviously--to the viewer, anyway--the woman he's supposed to be with. The absurdly long film is filled out with some fairly crude humor, such as the sight of Geoffrey Holder taking a whiff of Grace Jones's underwear. Yet Hudlin and Murphy also strain for a veneer of elegance and sophistication. Wanting to play it both ways, they end up with nothing. But there are several good sequences where Murphy is quite funny just being Murphy, such as his explanation to Berry of how you can tell which characters in an old episode of Star Trek are destined to die. --Tom Keogh

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