Can you believe that Eddie Murphy’s ‘Coming To America’ is turning 30!!!? Before there was Wakanda we had ZAMUNDA!
In the fictional African nation of Zamunda, crown prince Akeem lives a pampered life, but he wishes to do more for himself. When his parents, King Jaffe and Queen Aeoleon, present him with an arranged bride-to-be, Akeem takes action. Seeking an independent woman who loves him for himself, not his social status, Akeem and his best friend/personal aide, Semmi, travel to the New York City borough of Queens and rent a squalid tenement in the neighborhood of Long Island City under the guise of poor foreign students.
Beginning their search for Akeem’s bride, they end up invited by some locals to a rally that is raising money for the inner city. During the rally, Akeem encounters Lisa McDowell, who possesses all the qualities he is looking for, and upon his insistence he and Semmi get entry-level jobs working at the local fast food restaurant called McDowell’s — an obvious ripoff of McDonald’s — owned by widower Cleo McDowell, Lisa’s father. AND the rest is HISTORY! Who DOES NOT know the story and how truly EPIC this BIG BUDGET movie was to POP CULTRUE?
“Coming to America” was ahead of its time when it hit theaters on June 29, 1988, 30 years ago Friday, especially for blacks. The basic plot itself was standard boy meets girl and falls in love.
But it provided an alternative representation of blackness and created a space for actors of color that was anything but standard.
What was your FAVORITE scene from the EPIC film!?