Why aren't Eddie M, Steve M, Robin W. funny anymore?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Matthew Prince, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Matthew Prince

    Matthew Prince Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi!

    I've always wanted to ask: Why aren't Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin and Robin Williams funny anymore?

    It seems that each of the comedies have slid into middle age and just lost their flair! Ironically, they only seem to be funny when their doing voiceovers!

    I mean why is Eddie very funny doing the voice of Donkey in Shrek 2, but awful in Haunted Mansion, Pluto Nash and Daddy Day Care? The last 'live-action' movie where he was funny was in Nutty Professor 1!

    Steve Martin gave us The Jerk, Man With Two Brains, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and even LA Story. But nowadays... he seems to get worse and worse what with Cheaper By The Dozen (cringe!) and Briniging Down The House (horrifying! [​IMG] ) I read interviews with him around the Net that he's really more interested in writing comedy, dramas and stage plays more than anything else, and if that's true, then STEVE, Quit acting! Go out on top! There's no shame in moving into writing, producing and directing!

    Robin Williams... ahh... Mr Saccharine... He's given us Aladdin, but Jack. Mrs Doubtfire!, but Hook AND Bicentennial Man AND Jakob The Liar AND Patch Adams... He managed to redeem himself with the stand up show he done for DVD. 100 mins of 'off the cuff' unrehearsed and ad-libbed humour! So he's still got it, but why is he seen in such mawkish and sentimental movies?

    My suggestions, at least, for Eddie are to do a couple of R-Rated comedies where he can run his mouth and truly be HIMSELF. It's all well and good making family movies for the kids, but Eddie is forgetting the older fans! We wanna see some of the old Eddie, the trash-talking Eddie, the take-no-s%£t Eddie! He NEEDS to hook up with Paramount again and give us some more FUN movies, like some sequels (Coming to America, Trading Places, 48 Hours?) new projects (bring back Arsenio!) and a NEW Stand Up movie! It's about time!

    I don't know what to suggest for Steve Martin and Robin Williams. Has anybody got any ideas?
     
  2. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    Let's not forget Planes, Trains and Automobiles
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Lead Actor

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    Lack of Cocaine?
     
  4. ElAhrai

    ElAhrai Stunt Coordinator

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    Well to answer your last question first, I think both Martin and Williams seem to be doing really well in darker movies (such as One Hour Photo or Novocaine).

    As for why they seem to be drifting from comedy in general, part of it has to do with the idea that many comedians use comedy to deal with anger. So if they have less to be angry about, then they have less to be funny about too.

    And while I'd love to see them all return to something like their earlier work but many times I've heard actors say that they want to do something that their kids will enjoy, and so we get the more "family friendly" stuff.
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Steve Martin is still funny when he wants to be. He seems to be willing to either play the straight man (Cheaper by the Dozen), play the goofball, (Looney Tunes Back in Action) or straddle the line (Bringing Down the House), which probably keeps him from getting bored. He also was good in a non-comedic supporting role in "The Spanish Prisoner" several years ago, so he has acting options. Eddie Murphy seems to be playing more or less the same guy quite frequently even though he made his bones creating characters on SNL.

    Robin Williams has been going dark lately with One Hour Photo, Insomnia, and ...ugh... Death to Smoochy all coming out since the films listed in the initial post. He hasn't had a particularly sentimental role since Bicentennial Man in 1999.

    Speaking of Martin and Murphy, I actualy think that the "Bowfinger" film that they made about five years ago was the funniest film either of them have made in quite awhile, but it wasn't a big box office hit.

    Regards,
     
  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Steve Martin is playing Clouseau in "The Pink Panther" remake, so I assume he'll be funny in that (or at least try).
     
  7. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    They've become housebroken.
     
  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I agree that Bowfinger was a pretty good movie.

    But perhaps they feel they can't top their past successes and just want to work anyway.
     
  9. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

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    Its hard to say if any studio will invest in R-rated comedys these days. While they were plentiful in the 80's, they really seem to have died out in this day age.
     
  10. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Aiii... these days of There is something about Mary, American Pie(3), Scary Movies(3)?

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    H
     
  11. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

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    Yes, but those are the exception -- looking back it seems like every movie in the 80s was rated R ! [​IMG]
     
  12. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    You know, I think studios have turned a blind eye to a very lucrative genre... the "R" rated comedy that these guys could be ever-so-fantastic in (Eddie in particular!). I think the general perspective is that "R" rated product won't draw in the under-18 crowd, and that's a huge demographic to cut out of the boxoffice draw... sad, but true.

    I long for the 80's Eddie Murphy... the days of Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, Raw, Delirious, 48 Hours, and The Golden Child. Since he mid-90's he's become too family friendly, and seems to have lost his fondness for Richard Pryor's classic styles & influences.

    Not that I don't like some of his more recent product... I loved his short lived claymation TV show "The PJs", and he's done good voice work on the Shrek movies & Mulan... but I'd be very excited to see another Beverly Hills Cop movie come out with the classic cast & writing in the style of the first two movies (the third movie sucked...)

    Trends are cyclical though... give the studios a few years... someone will produce a great R-rated 80's style comedy that'll do GREAT at the box office, the studios will wake up, and perhaps Eddie/Steve/Robin will once again be funny.

    Moe.
     
  13. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Actually, "Scary Movie 3" was rated PG-13.

    Many Disney live-action comedies of the late 80's were "R" rated, too, since they were trying to attract a more adult audience: Ruthless People, Down & Out In Beverly Hills, Outrageous Fortune

    Does Disney or any of its divisions (excepting Miramax/Dimension) make "R" films anymore?
     
  14. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    My guess is that they are all parents and grandparents by now. They don't want their young children/grand children watching them on the big screen saying filth, flarn, flarn and filth.
    So maybe we should all sit back, have a Coke and a smile and shut the F**k up! [​IMG]
     
  15. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I don't know if you're serious or not, but I think you may be onto something.

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    H
     
  16. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    My theory:

    There's an unconscious hunger that shows when a young comedian is making his movies. He has a real DRIVE to make people laugh.

    Once you've become a household name and your bank account is swollen, that hunger seems to evaporate.

    I'm not saying the guys "got lazy and don't care" anymore...but an entry-level comedian has a lot more to prove that do this trilogy of funnymen.

    Plus, c'mon. There's easy money to be made in Family Fare. Martin's been making movies for 23 years, and Cheaper By the Dozen is his biggest gross to date. His agents must have been like "Hey, Steve, supporting parts in Larry Kasdan movies are all fine and good, but...the money is in the kid's stuff. Come read this "You and 12 screaming kids" script."

    Ditto Murphy. Two Nutty Professors, two Dr. Dolittles, two Shreks... Why the hell would he want to go back and do an I Spy or a Showtime or a Pluto Nash??

    Williams is another story. He's already been through the Kid Movie car-wash and now he seems intent on taking some 'darker' roles. His last three movies were Death to Smoochy, Insomnia and One Hour Photo...which means he'll probably be signing up for Flubber 2 or Jumanji 2 some time soon. [​IMG]

    My only hope is that these three funnymen balance their family fare with perhaps a little something for us (youthful) grown-ups. You know, the ones who've loved 'em from Day One.
     
  17. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I'd agree with Richard: basically, they've aged. Also, in this PC-gone-overboard day and age, Eddie's prime stuff in particular might not go down well, or at least sends up enough red-flags that overcautious studio suits won't risk it.
     
  18. Daniel DeLawter

    Daniel DeLawter Stunt Coordinator

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    I fear you assume too much.
     
  19. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. Pete-D

    Pete-D Screenwriter

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    I'd like to see Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle do an R-rated comedy.
     

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