Monday, November 19, 2007
In honor of Thanksgiving week, and to gird ourselves for an onslaught of family, let us re-watch the funniest single scene in movie history: the first dinner scene in The Nutty Professor remake. Eddie Murphy plays five out of the six characters at the table. He deserved to be nominated for an Oscar for these performances (only the National Society of Film Critics saw him fit for a best actor commendation, an award he received opposite Emily Watson's slightly less flatulent performance in Breaking the Waves). Murphy -- guided, or perhaps loosed, by director Tom Shadyac -- creates seamless, exuberant, masterful comedy work in this scene. The pacing, the gleeful scatology, the precise and hilarious family dynamic created by just one man (and one fat little kid) exceeds brilliance. To sum it up in one word: fab-iluss.