The Nutty Professor (1996 film)
|The Nutty Professor|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tom Shadyac|
|Produced by||Brian Grazer
|Screenplay by||David Sheffield
Barry W. Blaustein
|Based on||The Nutty Professor
by Jerry Lewis
|Music by||David Newman|
|Editing by||Don Zimmerman|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||June 28, 1996|
|Running time||95 min.|
|Budget||$54 million (estimated)|
|Box office||$273,961,019|
The Nutty Professor is a 1996 science fiction romantic comedy film starring Eddie Murphy. It is a remake of the 1963 film of the same name, which starred Jerry Lewis. The original music score was composed by David Newman. The film won Best Makeup at the 69th Academy Awards.
Murphy portrays the university professor Sherman Klump, who is morbidly obese. A research scientist, academic and lecturer, Klump develops a miracle but experimental weight-loss pharmaceutical, and, hoping to win the affection of the girl of his dreams, tests it upon himself.
Like the original film's Julius Kelp, Klump's trim, stylish and arrogant alter ego also takes the name "Buddy Love". Murphy plays a total of seven characters in the film, including Sherman, most of Sherman's family (except for his nephew, Ernie Klump Jr. played by actor Jamal Mixon) and an over-the-top parody of Richard Simmons.
The film received positive reviews, with critics particularly praising the makeup and Murphy's performance. The film's success spawned a sequel, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, which was released in 2000. The film was re-released on Blu-ray combo pack on March 6, 2012, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Universal Studios.
At Wellman College, thousands of hamsters are overrunning the entire campus, causing general chaos. This is due to the massively obese, yet loving and kind-hearted, professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy), who accidentally released them by grazing the switch that opens the hamster's cages. Meanwhile, Sherman has constructed an experimental formula that reconstructs the DNA of an obese person in a way that will allow them to lose weight more easily.
After class, Sherman meets and instantly falls in love with Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett), a chemistry graduate student who is a big fan of his work. After dinner with his obese, impolite family, Sherman asks Carla out on a date, which she accepts, much to Sherman's pleasant surprise. At the date, it begins well with Carla showing admiration for Sherman's work, but the club's wicked comic Reggie Warrington heckles him about his obesity in front of the entire nightclub. Sherman becomes depressed and has a nightmare in which he becomes a giant and wrecks the city with just a single fart, which is then accidentally lit on fire. He tests the serum on himself, and loses 250 pounds in seconds. Overwhelmed, he goes out and buys many normal size clothing as a celebration.
Calling himself Buddy Love (Eddie Murphy), he invites Carla out on a date at the same club again (while the serum begins to wear off). Reggie (Dave Chappelle) is present again, and Buddy takes revenge and heckles him mercilessly, Buddy starting to develop an independent personality from Sherman due to the heightened testosterone levels of the transformation causing him to be overly assertive and confident. Klump's assistant Jason (John Ales) witnesses Buddy fleeing the scene after he is identified as the person who left Klump's credit card on the bar, following Buddy into his car and witnessing the transformation back into Klump. The next morning, Dean Richmond (Larry Miller) has set up a meeting with Harlan Hartley at The Ritz to have Sherman describe the serum. Sherman arrives at The Ritz as Buddy with Carla. When the dean spots him, Carla asks Buddy if he will take Sherman's place. He does, and he takes all the credit of his work to Hartley (James Coburn). Hartley and the dean are very impressed with his work, and the dean invites him to the alumni ball. Meanwhile, Buddy picks up three beautiful women and invites them both back to his place for the night.
After a falling out with Carla and Richmond gleefully telling Sherman that Buddy will be taking his place at the Alumni Ball, Sherman, having enough of his alter ego, destroys all of the serum samples. Unfortunately, Buddy has planned for this and hidden a sample in one of Sherman's diet shake cans, which Sherman drinks, causing him to transform into Buddy again. Jason tries to stop him from going to the ball, but Buddy knocks him out and departs. At the ball, Buddy demonstrates the effects of the serum to the audience, but Jason arrives in time, as he has found out that Buddy's testosterone levels are at a lethally high 60,000%. The two of them get into a brief fist fight, but Sherman begins to fight Buddy from within. Sherman eventually transforms into his regular self and admits to the alumni of his misdeeds, that Buddy was who he thought he and everybody else wanted him to be, and that he should accept himself for who he is. As he leaves, Carla stops him and asks why he lied; he says he did not believe that she would accept him, but she says it doesn't matter if he is overweight or not. The film ends with Sherman and Carla dancing, and Hartley giving the grant to Sherman because he is "a brilliant scientist and a gentleman."
- Eddie Murphy as Professor Sherman Klump / Buddy Love / Mama Anna Klump / Grandma Klump / Papa Cletus Klump / Ernie Klump, Sr. / Lance Perkins
- Jada Pinkett as Carla Purty
- John Ales as Jason
- James Coburn as Harlan Hartley
- Larry Miller as Dean Richmond
- Dave Chappelle as Reggie Warrington
- Jamal Mixon as Ernie Klump Jr.
- Montell Jordan as Himself
The Nutty Professor was the first Tom Shadyac film to feature outtakes over the closing credits. The film also features a series of scenes with Murphy and comedian Dave Chappelle who plays insult comic, Reggie Warrington. Much of their dialogue was improvised. Murphy was one of Chappelle's biggest comedic influences. The cruel nightclub comedian, "Reggie Warrington" is named after Reginald and Warrington Hudlin, brothers and directors of Murphy's previous film Boomerang.
While the film was made with the help of Jerry Lewis (he was an executive producer for both this film and the 2000 sequel Nutty Professor II: The Klumps), he later recanted his position in an interview in the January 30/February 6, 2009 edition of Entertainment Weekly magazine. He is quoted as saying, "I have such respect for Eddie, but I should not have done it. What I did was perfect the first time around and all you're going to do is diminish that perfection by letting someone else do it."
The Nutty Professor has received mostly positive reviews from critics, with a 65% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 62 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 stars out of 4, calling it "a movie that's like a thumb to the nose for everyone who said [Murphy had] lost it. He's very good. And the movie succeeds in two different ways: it's sweet and good-hearted, and then again it's raucous slapstick and bathroom humor. I liked both parts." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+, writing "You can feel Murphy rediscovering his joy as a performer. He rediscovers it, too, as Sherman Klump, a fellow who, much like Murphy, is on the bottom rung, desperate to reinvent himself, and — at long last — does."
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2012)|
- 69th Academy Awards
- Best Makeup (Won)
- 54th Golden Globe Awards
- Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy (Nominated)
|1996||The Nutty Professor
The Clarence Carter song "Strokin'" that was used when Buddy Love was first driving to the night club is not included on this soundtrack.
- "Dave Chappelle". Inside the Actors Studio. Season 12. Episode 10. 2006-02-12. Bravo.
- The Nutty Professor :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews
- The Nutty Professor Review | Movie Reviews and News | EW.com
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- The Nutty Professor at the Internet Movie Database
- The Nutty Professor at AllRovi
- The Nutty Professor at Rotten Tomatoes