This content of this post originally appeared in the “JNL” section of the Janesville Gazette.
Eddie Murphy and Jeff Goldblum star in this new comedy about religion and home shopping networks.
The differences of disposition in these characters allow these actors to work better by bouncing off the other’s personality. Murphy, who has a funny, lighthearted demeanor, and the always serious Goldblum interact and form some comical scenes.
Murphy plays G, a man assumed to be extremely religious and on a pilgrimage. He encounters Ricky (Goldblum) when Ricky’s car gets a flat tire on a busy expressway. Shortly after they meet, G faints from heat exhaustion. Ricky pays his medical bills, and G bonds with him.
G has a different way of doing almost everything. He somehow gets on the air of the Good Buy Shopping Network where Ricky works, and he starts to talk about how material goods are not going to make people happy. People believe him; they trust him. Ricky takes and twists this to use G to sell products, which helps Ricky keep his job. Kate (Kelly Preston) is disturbed that Ricky would use a sweet, trusting, religious man to sell tacky products. Ricky becomes enlightened and realizes that work and money are not everything.
One problem with “Holy Man,” besides the overuse of coarse language, is what audiences may expect from the trailers. The ads show a cheesy comedy with a lot of one liners. But it goes a little deeper, something not expected from an Eddie Murphy movie.
Murphy’s ability to be believable as many different characters helps him in this role. You really believe that he is this slightly odd, religious pilgrim, not just an actor playing one.
“Holy Man” offers more than one liners. It makes you think about your priorities, and it has strong undercurrents about God and religion. With the help of Goldblum and Murphy, it all melds together into a good movie.