Who can forget the eighties, when Eddie Murphy ruled as the comedic king in movies such as Coming to America and Trading Places? Among classic blockbusters of the 1980s, Coming to America is my favorite for its depiction of Eddie Murphy as an African prince who found himself in America to “sow his royal oath.” Many foreigners can relate to his tale of trying to adjust to life in a new culture, although many do not come here filthy rich as Akeem did. It is a comedy, drama, romance all packed with memorable lines.
Prior to that movie, not much movies had been made to reveal Africa’s wealthy class, filled with rich tradition and cultural pride. Coming to America made westerners look eastward for their African prince.
As a schoolteacher, I get students who ask me how life is in Africa. They wonder if it is all what they see on television channels and other media outlets where terribly emaciated people amidst swarms of flies look for the mercy of the westerner for survival. I tell them that to some extent, Africa is like that, in that there are places where people are dying from the most preventable diseases such as fever (often infants), or malaria. But I also let them know that Africa is a continent with tens of nations rich its diversity as it is in natural resources. I show clips of Coming to America to show them the pride the people carry through their dressing, their tradition, and their ways of living. This movie portrays the good life one can find in some parts of nations throughout Africa.
Coming to America, although stereotypical in its portrayal of Akeem (Eddie Murphy) as a prince, since kings or queens do not rule most African nations, is a great movie that shows Africa at its best. There are great costumes and dancers dressed in traditional costumes, including American Idol judge Paula Abdul.
Coming to America is packed with super stars such as Samuel L Jackson, Eriq La Salle, James Earl Jones as the King, Shari Headley as the sought after love of Akeem’s life, Madge Sinclair as the queen, and various others. Eddie Murphy plays about three different characters in the film, all of who are incredibly hilarious. You’ll wish to go back to the eighties funky hairdos and washed jeans, as you laugh so hard.
You can find this movie at any local video store. You can also go online at the following website: