The Nutty Professor (1996) starring Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Coburn, Larry Miller, Dave Chappelle, John Ales directed by Tom Shadyac Movie Review

The Nutty Professor (1996)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jada Pinkett Smith and Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor

Fat Jeykll and Skinny Hyde

Although it shares its name with Jerry Lewis's 1963 movie I wouldn't say that Eddie Murphy's "The Nutty Professor" is a remake. It has some similarities but Eddie Murphy's "The Nutty Professor" is more a comedy take on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as the rotund Professor Klump invents a potion which completely changes him into a slim line party animal. It is at times a riot of comedy with Eddie Murphy delivering a full on comedy performance, but at the same time it would be fair to say that the comedy is of a low level with jokes about farting and fat people being the order of the day. In fact whilst I enjoyed "The Nutty Professor" when it first came out, time and age has changed my opinion and I now find the jokes bordering on being unintentionally distasteful and repetitive aimed at a young audience who will laugh at a character trumpeting like there is no tomorrow.

Professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy - Life) maybe hugely over weight and accident prone but he has a good heart and is on the verge of a major scientific discovery which will allow him to reconstruct DNA. But he is frustrated by his rather large waste line especially when he meets newly graduated teacher Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett Smith - Collateral) who he falls for. In desperation he turns himself into a human guinea pig and tests his own DNA reconstructing formula on himself. But whilst it turns him into a slim and energetic man it also turns him into a complete and utter leche.

Eddie Murphy as Buddly Love in The Nutty Professor

Story wise Eddie Murphy's "The Nutty Professor" is simplistic with are rotund, accident prone and lovable Professor Klump inventing a potion to help him lose all the extra weight so he will become more desirable to newly graduated teacher Carla Purty. But things go wrong when the potion not only makes him slim but turns him into a scheming party animal. In all honesty "The Nutty Professor" really isn't about giving us a great story or being original but rather than the comedy. And as such the storyline sets up enough situations so that there is plenty of comedy, in fact there is barely a scene which doesn't fire off at least one joke.

But whether you find "The Nutty Professor" funny depends on what sort of jokes you like. It is filled with what is in effect juvenile jokes focussing understandably on being fat and also body noises with various scenes around the Klump dinner table usually ending up in a deluge of flatulence jokes. Some of the jokes are funny, even a little clever especially in the scene when Buddy Love gives the comedian at a night club a dose of his own medicine with a barrage of jokes which pick on his looks. But for the most the jokes are of a low level and to be honest watching "The Nutty Professor" now they are also quite repetitive. By half way point I felt like if I never heard another fat joke I would be happy.

But whilst the level of humour is low there is no denying that Eddie Murphy is in his element be it as the energetic Buddy Love, the accidental prone Sherman Klump or any other of the numerous characters which he plays behind layers of latex and fat suits. It does feel at times like Murphy isn't so much playing a character but just giving us his brand of snappy comedy especially as the womanising Buddy Love, but it is still fun and nice to see Murphy doing what he does best. In fact Eddie Murphy is on such fine form, as well as playing many of the characters, he basically puts everyone else in the shade be it the beautiful Jada Pinkett Smith as Carla Purty, Larry Miller as Dean Richmond or Dave Chappelle who plays the offensive club comedian Reggie Warrington.

What this all boils down to is that Eddie Murphy's "The Nutty Professor" is a fun movie which fires more jokes at you than it does storyline. Whether or not you will find it really funny depends on if you find jokes about being fat and body functions amusing. But even if you don't find the jokes that appealing just watching Eddie Murphy on fine form as various characters makes it enjoyable to watch.