Verdict

In the wake of Meet Dave‘s still-born arrival, a very well written manifesto by Defamer’s Stu Van Airsdale (unless someone else wrote it) that doesn’t call for Murphy’s retirement (like the Vulture guys have suggested) or going back to stand-up or moving to Myanmar, but an announcement that the man absolutely and incontestably doesn’t matter to anyone. The piece is called “Why You Don’t Care About Eddie Murphy.”

“More than any recent bust by Mike Myers or Jim Carrey, Meet Dave‘s disastrous showing owes less to Murphy’s presence than to 20th Century Fox’s miscalculation of what that presence means.
“This is important. The half of the so-called marketing quadrants that made Norbit a hit — men and women under 25 — weren’t there to see Eddie Murphy. They were there for the Trick — the concept, the execution, the ease of it all, however crude, stupid and condescending. Basically, they were there for the movie part of it. They weren’t yet born when Murphy was Murphy; they didn’t know any mighty had fallen, nor from how far up.
“Fox counted on that perspective, however, in foisting ‘Eddie Murphy in Eddie Murphy in Meet Dave‘ — even if Murphy was too far gone for our liking, he had proven reliable enough for a few of the studio’s recent family romps. Right? Doctor Doolittle? Right? Maybe our kids would dig it, while we barely tolerated it for their sake, and, by summer dog-days extension, for our own.
“Except ‘our’ kids don’t care. They’ve got better things to do. And we don’t care that they don’t care. And we don’t care that the millions of others who don’t care (their numbers reflect indirectly in Meet Dave’s box-office trough) don’t care either.
“All we feel is sort of a relief at no longer having to pretend to care — no more calling for Murphy’s head or lamenting his choices. That it should happen to such a household name reinforces only its novelty, not its unlikelihood; actors are forgotten and disused all the time. Eddie Murphy’s indelibility is his only entitlement; he’s achieved that much, Oscar losses and all.
“His value, though? His very place? Gone. And this is us, shrugging.”

21 thoughts on “Verdict

  1. You’re all wrong. Eddie Murphy will live on yet.. Ffurthermore, this period of his career will be better remembered and more studied than the first half.
    His films are going to be studied in film theory and psychology classes for decades to come.
    I am currently writing my dissertation on Murphy’s movies .

  2. Strongly disagree. How popular are “Raw” and “Delerious” on dvd and the net? How popular are some of his films like Beverly Hills Cop and the like?
    When Eddie chooses the right project, or quite frankly, realizes that he’s a PERFORMER, not a charicature who can only do kids stuff, he’ll be relevant again. His performance in Dreamgirls was just two years ago.

  3. This is the most relevant thread I could find to say I think everybody missed the boat on HANCOCK, one of the strangest, novel, and interesting popcorn films I’ve seen in a long while. Sure it’s uneven and it begins a downward slide, but it’s a solid B, not the C- everyone has been saying, and Smith is tremendous in it, not coasting.

  4. Murphy is one of the most bulletproof stars in existance. How many huge flops has he had (Holy Man, Pluto Nash) only to bounce back with some silly comedy that makes a gazillion dollars. It’ll inevitablelly happen again. The flops Murphy has had were so expensive, that they’d be career ending for anyone else. But somehow, he’s got this weird ability to brush off failures as if they never happened, and re-establish himself as a huge draw.
    So I wouldn’t be writing any box office obituaries for Murphy just yet. It’s been done in the past, and it’s never stuck.

  5. The problem with Murphy is feeling everything e does has been done before. I mean, Murphy as weird-voiced space case? Holy Man. And next he”ll do Incredible Shrinking Man, so that’s two mini-Murphys in a row. Norbit? Nutty Professor 3.
    There’s no penalty for skipping his latest movie because he’ll do it again soon enough.

  6. I kind of felt his Meet Dave voice was essentially Prince Akeem all over again, so my time is better spent watching that movie.
    Just let your Soul Glo!

  7. The original script was pretty funny, though I can’t say I know what they did to it ultimately. The title Starship Dave also was way more clever than Meet Dave.

  8. The problem with Murphy is feeling everything e does has been done before. I mean, Murphy as weird-voiced space case? Holy Man. And next he”ll do Incredible Shrinking Man, so that’s two mini-Murphys in a row. Norbit? Nutty Professor 3.

    There’s no penalty for skipping his latest movie because he’ll do it again soon enough.

  9. His performance in Dreamgirls was overrated.
    For Eddie Murphy, it was a solid real effort and a rare time where we’ve seen him tap into the deep well that is his talent. That made it seem like it was more than it was but if someone could explain what made it GREAT, or Oscarworthy, I’d like to hear that.
    I saw that movie and thought I’d be perfectly happy if Arkin won.
    If he could DO something with it, that would be one thing but, as we all know, Norbit was on screens by the time the Oscars came.

  10. ‘Dreamgirls’ was overrated, and I like musicals.
    It featured a weird stylistic choice in that the music is set up so that people ‘sing’ in obvious performance settings, then suddenly breaks suspension of disbelief when, for some reason, about halfway through, everyone starts singing *at* one another.
    Murphy and Hudson were both horrible. He went from screechy-overacting to mellow and laid back , except we never see any transition between them. His big death scene happens *off stage*. Why on earth anyone considered it Oscar-worthy is beyond me. He’s just occupying space.
    Hudson seems unaware of the fact that acting is more than just saying your lines and standing there vacantly until it’s your turn to talk again.
    Oscar Buzz is no indication of quality. I’d love to know how and why such a deficient film was held up as being a quality work.

  11. And Patrick Goldstein, eager to not offend the studios, has just weighed in with a “what went wrong” piece on MEET DAVE:
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-goldstein15-2008jul15,0,2335314.story
    Goldstein pulls off a “have it both ways” gambit by claiming first that Fox couldn’t market the film because of its quality and, a few paragraphs later, reversing himself and saying that Fox could have sold MEET DAVE if they had embraced the “sci-fi comedy” premise instead of running from it.

  12. Don’t forget that both Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy appear in three of the biggest box office hits ever made. Granted, they’re only voice performances, but if they got any profit participation at all, they can make crap like Meet Dave and Love Guru from now until the sun cools and still never miss any meals.

  13. More than any recent bust by Mike Myers or Jim Carrey, Meet Dave’s disastrous showing owes less to Murphy’s presence than to 20th Century Fox’s miscalculation of what that presence means.

    I agree with this. No recent Mike Myers or Jim Carrey film failed on account of Eddie Murphy.

  14. Maybe one way to have perspective on this is to consider that Eddie has idolized Elvis Presley–and Eddie’s recent films (except DREAMGIRLS) have been an homage of sorts to Elvis’ 1962-69 output.

  15. he’s cool …I know many people on ” TALLMEET .COM “talk about him..I saw him just have some talk with his fans on that site..u should join in..

  16. Just read a fantastic piece on Meet Dave that compares it to the New Yorker Obama cover. The critic Armond White gives the best explanation I have read of the Eddie Murphy film. His reading of its satire and parody are used for provocative breakdown of why that New Yorker Obama cover was not good satire or–by dictionary defintion–not even a parody. It opened my eyes.

  17. Just read a fantastic piece on Meet Dave that compares it to the New Yorker Obama cover. The critic Armond White gives the best explanation I have read of the Eddie Murphy film. His reading of its satire and parody are used for provocative breakdown of why that New Yorker Obama cover was not good satire or–by dictionary defintion–not even a parody. It opened my eyes.

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