Movie Magazine International

Holy Man

USA - 1998

Movie Review By Blue Velvet

Experienced in directing mainstream way-out comedies and epic family films, Stephen Herek directs "Holy Man," a feel-good comedy combining two diametrically opposed entities--a calming spiritualist and a home shopping network. Instead of crafting a creative cross-section full of parodies and hilarious scenarios, "Holy Man"'s screenwriter Tom Shuman wrestles and deflates the raw talents of the film's powerhouse cast. Yet "Holy Man" does send out a good message through a passably entertaining but forgettable script.

Eddie Murphy plays G., a wandering spiritualist of an unidentified religion. One hot afternoon, G. randomly lofts down into the life of an unsuccessful smooth-talking home shopping producer named Ricky Hayman. Played by Jeff Goldblum, Ricky too often pulls in low sales figures and this puts him on the brink of losing his job as the producer of Miami's Good Buy Shopping Network. After G. miraculously appears in Ricky's life, Ricky's sales figures skyrocket while his emotional well-being improves.

A few laughable scenes come from the cameos of James Brown, Florence Henderson, Betty Wright, and Soupy Sales, all acting in absurd Good Buy Home Shopping product endorsements. Even the Italian Design Mogul, Nino Cerruti, helps add star-excitement to the film. Yet screenwriter Shuman barely lets the funny scenes slip out where Murhpy's character is concerned. Plodding through a slow script and a trite romantic sub-plot between Ricky and a co-worker played by Kelly Preston, "Holy Man" trudges to its predictable finish.

If Shuman and director Stephen Hayak intended Eddie Murphy to be so poised and calm like a yoga instructor, then they did succeed in making a light film about friendship and loyalty. Otherwise, "Holy Man" offers minimal mindless humor in exchange for two hours of your time.

© 1998 - Blue Velvet - Air Date: 10/14/98

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