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Brilliant, if you're up for it
fung02 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those "why don't they make 'em like that any more" movies. If it starred, say, Jimmie Stewart and Jean Arthur, everyone would look upon it fondly, as a treasured masterpiece. But no, it's the often-abrasive Eddie Murphy, and the frequently hard-to-take Jeff Goldblum. If you can handle the casting, though, this is a marvelous movie, transcending its formula to deliver moments of hilarity as well as a thoughtful message.

Jeff Goldblum is, to me, impeccably cast as an ambitious but unsuccessful salesman. The explanation, later in the movie, of how he traveled with his father on sales trips, sets the character up beautifully. We come to understand that his lack of success really stems from a lack of commitment to the no-holds-barred ethos of the salesman. And, of course, that's a good thing.

Murphy plays "G", who may or may not be divine, but certainly is other-worldly. He's the opposite of Goldblum's character: totally centered, with no attachment to anything, least of all the crass commercialism of the shopping network where Goldblum works. Naturally, he disrupts Goldblum's life, but the kicker comes when Goldblum desperately puts G on the air, and finds that sincerity sells better than salesmanship.

A number of reviewers have complained that there's not enough of Murphy. Maybe so, if you're expecting a full-on Eddie Murphy vehicle. But Holy Man is more than just an "Eddie Murphy" movie, and G the sort of showcase role that no actor could resist. It really lets Murphy shine, displaying more subtlety than usual... yet spinning nicely off his usual sarcastic persona.

The plot, to be sure, is formulaic. You can see the twists coming a mile away. So what? This type of cinema is as ritualistic as Greek tragedy, or Kabuki theater. The point isn't in where it's going, but in how it gets there. And get there it does, making its little Zen point about materialism versus spirituality in a unique and compelling way.

And, at times, a hilariously funny way. The 'magic trick' G performs with a Rolex watch is side-splitting. But it's easily topped by the gut-wrenchingly funny antics of G as he roams from one set to another in the TV studio. What he does to Morgan Fairchild is one of the great moments of sadistic slapstick. (I admire her for appearing in this unflattering scene; she must have an amazing sense of humor.)

I'll admit that the two stars will limit this film's appeal. But even if you're not a fan of Murphy or Goldblum, it's worth taking a chance. Personally, I tend to find Goldblum overpowering; I was definitely rooting for the Tyranosaurus to catch up with his asinine "chaotician" in Jurassic Park (1 and 2). But in some roles he just works, and this is one of them. (Another is "Beyond Suspicion," a.k.a. "Auggie Rose.")

This is not only a good movie, it's one that I actually pull down off the shelf and watch, far more frequently than many of the better-known 'classics.' I've seen it at least four times, and intend to see it many more.
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Better than it gets credit for...
Goosfrabah16 December 2005
Just saw this movie again for the first time since 1998, and I gotta admit, it's a lot better than I remembered it. I think back then people just had way too high expectations for it; that and the fact that it wasn't an "all Eddie Murphy" film--as the reviewer before me put it-- led to its limited success.

Jeff Goldblum can get on my nerves sometimes, but the stark contrast between the personality of his and Murphy's characters in this movie makes for some pretty funny scenes. As for Eddie, his performance as G is one of the best I've ever seen him do: you really do Believe he is a "Holy Man."
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Makes you Think
QuantumJumper1331 May 2004
I think that most people are misinterpreting the main purpose of the movie. The whole purpose of the movie is to make people think, especially about their current lives and materialism. However, rather than taking a rather somber approach throughout the movie, the movie tries to take an Al Franken approach, and inform through humor. Perhaps this may be because I personally identified with the message, but still, the nonmaterialistic message definitely strikes home, with comedy sprinkled in. If a light hearted comedy is what you are looking for, then this is probably not the best movie to watch simply because the movie isn't that funny. It isn't entirely deep either, but it does manage to get the point across, and makes you think.
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I'm shocked that this movie is rated so poorly...
jeff-20388 June 2008
I first caught Holy Man a few years ago and was highly impressed. I didn't go into it knowing much about it, so I wasn't disappointed to find out it wasn't a comedy -- and it's not, despite some funny moments.

It's just a very light hearted charming movie that will make you think about life's more important aspects. Give it a chance, you'll probably enjoy it more than you expect!

The movie can be a little sappy at times and casting Eric McCormack was probably a mistake. All I could think of when he was on screen was his character from 'Will & Grace'. I guess that's what they call typecasting, eh? Either way, this movie is worth the two hours.
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Jon Monsarrat review: a feel-good comedy w/ deep thoughts
johnnymonsarrat29 March 2002
On the face of it, this romantic comedy is nothing special.

But for some reason, I'm just really pleased by this film. There is a thematic cleverness tying together all the humor, and the inevitable and obvious conclusion ends up being sweet and engaging anyhow.

I hate films that get melodramatic and sappy -- Holy Man skirted the edges but didn't fall into that trap. There aren't snappy comebacks and put downs like in Beverly Hills Cop, but there is some deep thinking. I wouldn't be surprised if for the right people this movie really meant something to their lives. Sort of like, but not as good as Groundhog Day.

Who should see this film:

-- romantic comedy lovers (and drag your spouse along)

-- generic comedy likers who can live without high action if there's a little philosophy

-- if you're not "in with the young crowd" and think Eddy Murphy flicks are too silly and "hip", this one is different

I'll give this one a 7 out of 10.
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Holy Man!
XcrossbonesX_black23 June 2006
I saw this great movie yesterday evening. My mom + I hired it out, along with other DVDs and I'm so glad I chose this one! I believe this movie has a few messages: they are meaningful + things to consider and really think about. First off, Kate is a very kind and compassionate character. As the viewer of the movie, we are positioned to like her. This I totally agree with because I think everyone should be like Kate - she has lovely qualities. When she stands up for her rights as a human and says: "I'm not going to sell my soul" I really like that. That's how everybody should think. Why should individuals give in to money (and business) and simultaneously sell their soul, their integrity, their self as a whole? Well, they should not. But it happens so it's ultimately up to the individual to make their own choices, right or wrong. Kate is empathetic towards G and she feels that G should not be made to do the shows purely to save someone else's ass. She also feels that the business is just using him as a way for their success to be fruitful again. Although, G doesn't mind doing the shows because he says he wants to do them for Ricky. So Kate walks away from the whole business and I think it's great that she does this cos she shows us what it's like to have integrity. But this movie teaches one that when you're in trouble and you pray for help, God is always there to help you - G is in trouble at work so he prays sincerely and G turns up! There are other beautiful messages too. You can work them out. In the end, Ricky listens to Kate's benevolent example and lets G go. Kate falls in love with Ricky once again and here we have a wonderful happy ending. I just love movies with happy endings. I recommend this movie to anyone that believes in integrity.
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Wrong Impression
lildrummernick0117 February 2007
I just recently saw this movie on television. quite frankly i think everyone who gave it a low rating had the wrong impression. this was NOT meant to be a Hollywood movie. hence the theme behind it and the title being Holy man. why would you think that something with a message of love and not exploiting people and products would be made out as exactly that? And thats why its so beautiful, because they didn't make it "popular". the message however is that of true love and peace to all the earth. i think Eddie Murphy did a great job filling the role, and i think his humor and love by all races and religions makes the casting brilliant. The rest of the actors/ actresses are not of my appeal, however i believe i have a new appreciation for them. I think the whole world could benefit from a simplistic but meaningful movie like this. thats all i have to say about that.
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What a smile, Eddie is the man..
Scooter-3426 November 1998
This movie had everything in it. From laughter, to deep thoughts. I thought it was an excellent movie and I absolutely loved that story with the starfish on the beach on a stormy day. It kinda makes you look at life a little different..

9* out of 10... Extremely funny movie, go see it..
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A Drama, Not a Comedy, about The Truthfulness in The Contemporary Materialistic World !
elshikh427 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Now here's a movie where the problem is in the wrong way that people look at it, and receive it.

It's about the condition of truthfulness in our contemporary materialistic world, showing that the truthful man isn't the one who doesn't lie at all, because that's hard to happen, but he's the one who lies less than the others.

I liked selecting the field of advertisement to make the whole movie in it. This world of unceasing commercials was an epitome of the world that we live of shiny seductive fibs, where everything is a commodity that has to be sold anyway, anyhow, with or without credibility; which can be sold also accompanied by any bad commodity. This environment created the perfect irony with the main issue.

But I liked more and more the confidential talk between the lead / the manager of the advertising channel and god in the bathroom. It became the only place where he can be alone with his conscience, away from all the people's dirt; or the bigger bathroom; which can't have a way to empty all of its uncountable lies. It's one sharp, so sarcastic, paradox that introduces the toilet as less filthy than that huge liar world around. So when toilets become the only holy place in our world, then what kind of "filthy" world we live indeed?! This summarizes the serious character of this movie which was wrongly understood as yet another comedy for (Eddie Murphy) while it's wholly not.

It's a movie that asks what's holy nowadays. And according to its nice story, there is surely no 100 % holy men at all. Only holy thoughts. The greatest of them all is being truthful. That's holy enough.. just if you can do it.
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Subtle and deeply meaningful...one of my favorite movies
tigger-7613 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I think the last two posters described very well, two facets of this beautiful gem. It's sad this movie got such bad reviews, as I think it was misrepresented in the press since Eddie was in it.

I'm very selective of the movies I watch...I'm one of the international cinema crowd also, so I tend toward deeper, more intense movies. This is a movie I've watched countless times, and I've never tired of it...and I've always cried at the end. This is one of the few movies that, to this day, still causes me to cry at the self-sacrifice and parting of the friends.

This is probably because for me I see another facet of it as a modern parable...very subtle, but powerful, and poignant. This is not a movie about comedy, and funny situations with a guru...in my opinion that is simply the stage being set, and the backdrop raised, for a parable about the value of true friendship and relationships...when we move beyond simply 'using' each other in the normal progression of our daily lives, into the realm of true friends.

The two high-points are: 1. Ricky (Jeff) finding the better part of himself, that he never knew he had and was against much of who he thought he should be, to tell G to go, to leave the show. The virtue of self-sacrifice for the betterment of a friend. The build-up, timing, music, and dialog were well-edited and synchronized for a very poignant moment.

2. And this happens again, in a wonderful way...another poignant moment as Ricky, G, and Kate meet once more on the highway to say goodbye to each other...for the last time. It's bittersweet but incredibly moving, and once again Ricky gets a glimpse of the much better part of himself, that he didn't know he had, and that has the potential to emerge. It's very beautiful and touching. And we sense that they are all on a better road for the journey for the experience.

What touches me most deeply is the strong sense of true friends made, how they touch and effect our lives, and then move apart. We'll probably never see each other again, but we will never forget each other and what we did for each other to make our lives a little brighter and better. I've had several true friends like that, and that chord strikes beautifully here.

I strongly recommend this film. It is a great parable of the coming of true friendship.
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I love this movie!
flexico7 October 2000
I really had very low expectations of this movie the night I rented it. Yet, I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. This is a fun-loving inspiring movie that manages to come to a conclusion without employing one murder scene, sex scene, or expletive. My wife and I both found ourselves truly inspired after watching it.
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Great movie
trojanduke23 October 2018
This is a hilarious movie with very special moments Just don't take it seriously JG drinking G's herbal tea Morgan Freeman's face All classic
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About time too....a good Eddie Murphy film!
CharltonBoy17 February 2001
It is a long long time since we have seen an Eddie Murphy film that you can say was good, the last ones being 48 Hours and Trading Places which must be 15 years ago now. Let me start by saying i'm not sure why this film is called Holy Man because at no point does he say he is religous or he spreading the word, what he does say is he is on a spititual journey , which is different in my opinion. while on his journey he meets two producers of a flagging tv shopping channel who by accident , realise that the holy man could be the answer to their prayers and revive the TV channels fortunes. I would not say this film is a rib tickler but i dont think it sets out to be, it is more of a feel good film that is acted out very well and is highly watchable.Far better than i expected. 7 out of 10 ( nearly an 8 ).
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Aborted roller coaster ride!
sandyode24 October 1998
I sat through the entire movie thinking the very next line was going to be the comedy line that gets the ball rolling and magically transforms the film into the comedy genre it was billed as. In the end I had the feeling that I had ridden a roller coaster to the top of the big drop only to be backed down the hill without having ever taken off. I was expecting a hilariously funny film as are most of Eddie Murphy's. Even Jeff Goldblum let me down as he wasn't able to pull off any of his famous one-liners that stick in your head for a week after you walk out of the theater. The editors even missed their mark with a very noticeable stain on a white robe that changed sizes and shapes several times in one scene. Maybe next time people.
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Starts out funny but turns into a drama, **1/2 out of ****.
Movie-1223 October 1998
If you're like me, and you have seen the trailer to "Holy Man," you probably thought to yourself that the movie looks pretty funny. Guess what, it's not. Eddie Murphy is usually quite comical. I wish I could give you a film in comparison to this…wait, what about "My Giant." Billy Crystals comic touch was wasted as Murphy's was, the movie started out as a slightly entertaining comedy then turned into a melodrama that is emotionally touching, but is absent of all laughs. That is a perfect example.

This movie has some funny moments, which all happen at the movie's opening in which a struggling home shopping agent meets a new partner, that just so happens to be female, an instantly obvious set-up for a romantic sub-plot. So when they are forced to travel across town together in a car that pops a tire, they meet a seemingly mental man who sniffs the grass and waves to every car that passes.

Who he is we never find out, and at this point in the movie the last laugh is long gone. All we know is that this is a friendly guy, friendly enough to hypnotize a man so that he fever loses his fear of flying and even uses his miracles to help the agent, played by Goldblum. The way he helps isn't really funny, but entertaining. I won't recite anymore for the plot to you, mostly because it all goes downhill from here, but I don't want to spoil anything either.

Now, I want to say up front that I am recommending "Holy Man" if 1) You liked "My Giant," 2) aren't expecting more than approximately 2 minutes of laughs in 114 minutes. This is not a comedy, it is a touching and emotional drama. On that note it works well. Judging the film on that concept I would give this movie three stars.

For a comedy, well, here I go; The Eddie Murphy character was easily the poorest written character of the year. Nothing about is explained. Yes, I know he is supposed to be a mystery to the audience, but I am talking about his entire existence. The filmmakers clearly depended… no used Murphy as a crutch to hold back their bad ideas. As a comic production, this movie absolutely stinks! (I would give the comedy part two stars, as you can see, I decided to split the difference between the two ratings)

I felt the actors did what they could to try and save the film, but couldn't succeed. Jeff Goldblum is well written and performed, but his character never meets its maximum potential until the finale. Kelly Preston from "Nothing To Lose" was the best thing in the film and defiantly was the most developed. She succeeds in making her character fun and intriguing. And unlike the others, we relate to her.

In "Holy Man" there is something to be made from the clever ideas and few funny moments from it…another movie.
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I'd rather watch 2 hours of the real home shopping network!
concord-411 July 1999
This movie sets a new precedent of badness for filmmakers to follow. If you see it, you'll say to yourself, "This can't possibly get any worse -- I mean, I gotta keep watching this because there's nowhere to go but up... Right?" Wrong. I don't think that you, the reader, could set out INTENTIONALLY to make a movie this bad and manage to succeed at failure as well as this film did. If you think that there is a "hidden" message in this movie, then you've probably missed the real hidden message: don't waste energy "trying" to make a good movie, when you can make films like this that will still reap profits on video.
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Good, solid movie...though misunderstood by many.
Lursa30 October 1999
This is one of the best films I've seen in a long time. I actually passed on it in the theatres because it was promoted at an "Eddie Murphy Movie". I finally saw it on video and was totally charmed. Holy Man was hard for critics and viewers to get a handle on. It's a good movie with heart and a message. Not many people expect or want that. Eddie is great as the holy man in the title. Kelly Preston is good and Jeff Goldblum actually seems less annoying than usual.
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Fantastic Movie!
flexico31 July 1999
This movie was one of the most inspiring I have seen in a long time. Going into the film, I had fairly modest expectations, and merely hoped for a few good laughs. In fact, the movie was very well written, and had a very spiritual message that I found to be both inspiring and refreshing. Bravo Eddie!
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Lazy, but spiritual comedy/drama with Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum and Kelly Preston
Wuchakk13 September 2018
A mysterious saintly man named G (Eddie Murphy) befriends the director of a failing shopping network (Jeff Goldblum) & his colleague (Kelly Preston) in Miami. He becomes a curious sensation on the network.

"Holy Man" (1998) combines elements of "Michael" (1996) and "City of Angels" (1998) to forge its own hybrid and is the obvious precursor to "Bruce Almighty" (2003). It failed at the box office mainly because people thought it was going to be a typical Eddie Murphy vehicle, but it's not. Sure, there's some comedy, but it's decidedly low-key with maybe 2-3 laugh-out-loud parts. It's more of an amusing drama crossed with spiritual docudrama and the unique tone turned people off.

While it's the least of those three other films, it possesses its own appeal once you catch a grip. The movie seems overlong though and needed tightened up with a rewrite. Still, it has its points of interest. Murphy, for instance, is thoroughly convincing in the title role and his character is certainly intriguing (I think it's obvious who he really is), not to mention the flick conveys several valuable insights.

The film runs 1 hour, 54 minutes and was shot in Miami, Florida.

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Not great, but good comedy that tries to make you think
srdjan_veljkovic23 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't watch this movie when it came out, but almost 20 years afterwards. When I remember what kind of comedies were popular back then, I think I understand why it didn't do well at the time.

But, it's a kind of movie that ages well, because it sticks to the basics. Don't take yourself too seriously, don't go overboard, have some fun and jokes and give people inspiration to think about their lives, including a nice example of how one should treat their friends and loved ones.

Of course it's not very realistic, it's a comedy, but you can't say it's bad just because you don't like _this_ kind of comedy. There are people that didn't like Julia Roberts' comedies, yet don't say those were bad.

Some of the complaints about this movie are kind of silly. Like complaining that "nothing ever happens", which is kind of the point. These people work on shopper TV channels. Did you ever watch these? Nothing ever happens, it's the same thing over-and-over-again. Also, "we don't know where G. came from, where he's going, what is his religion/belief system"... again, this is the point - it _doesn't_ matter. He's just a guy who chooses to believe in people, and gets by in life doing mostly OK and feeling good and happy. Sure, this is a little naive in the way it's portrayed, but, the general message is OK.

I do agree that Goldblum and Murphy should have worked better together, but, they do work to some degree. OTOH, Murphy and Preston work great, and if you're a "2.5 Men" fan, you'll see an interesting glimpse of future Alan Harper.

There are parts that are not very good, but there are parts that are very good (like the "you have 75 years" speech by G.). All-together, it's good and well worth the watch.
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Who is this mysterious "G"? Is he God? Is he a Gandhi type of person?
pzivojinovic29 June 2016
There's no way to put into words how it feels to come from a film having taking something special away. I've come to the conclusion that this is one of those movies most people just don't get. This is indeed the age of crudity, where shock value is held in higher regard than genuinely good storytelling and uplifting characters. This film succeeds on all fronts by offering itself not just as a hilarious comedy(which it certainly is), but also as a means to convey a message that's too often ignored and scoffed at. Let's face it, most people today are master cynics, unwilling to accept any positivity but always ready to rebuke something. It seems to me, that's why this film was not a commercial success.

Eddie Murphy has created a phenomenal character in G and plays him with enough love and abandon I found myself smiling all the way through. Forget wondering exactly who G is. If you're really spending time on that, you've failed to see the point of the story. Besides, some things are best left to the imagination. Ambiguity doesn't have to be a scary concept. The love story between Goldblum and Preston isn't perfect, but their performances-particularly Goldblum's are worth seeing. I actually loved this movie, and recommend it to everybody, although you shouldn't expect an average comedy, but a deep thought-provoking movie instead.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10.
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Sappy, sentimental, overlong, and mostly uninteresting
raisleygordon3 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Watching this picture makes you appreciate "The Nutty Professor" (and even the sequel) even more. While those weren't masterpieces, at least his characters and voices were reasonably funny. Until G. comes along, the film is in fine form. When G. shows up, that's when you'll start questioning things. And when G. comes to live with Goldblum, that's when the film goes downhill. And it only goes downhill from there. There are about three worthy moments, like when he tortures poor Morgan Fairchild with that shock button (or whatever), a trick he does at a party, and a woman, on live TV, who confesses for lying about being related to G. Other than those three moments, this is a sorry excuse for a motion picture. And don't even get me started on his annoying voice, which gets really old as the film goes on. And, while not quite two hours, did the movie need to be so damn long? I think not. Or, if at the very least, the film were a reasonable running time, its flaws might be forgivable. But with a comedy this long, how can they be?

*1/2 out of ****
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The Good Samaritan of Shopping
wes-connors9 July 2013
His job security is tenuous because program manager Jeff Goldblum (as Ricky Hayman) has failed to get viewers to tune in and order merchandise from the Miami-based "Good Buy Shopping Network" (GBSN). Attractive blonde Kelly Preston (as Kate Newell) is hired to help make the station turn a profit. At first, Ms. Preston clashes with Mr. Goldblum. Later, they have trouble deciding whether to kiss or quarrel. While driving, the couple has a flat tire and winds up almost hitting an apparently homeless Eddie Murphy (as "G."). After fainting, Mr. Murphy is brought to a hospital...

Murphy is dismissed from the hospital and moves in with Goldblum. Physically fit, Murphy makes a health drink for his host which may include urine. Goldblum is preoccupied with work. Murphy acts like a happy guru, promoting the power of positive thinking. While obviously non-materialistic, Murphy innocently joins GBSN hosts, helping pitch their products. This winds up helping Goldblum. Murphy's winning personality makes the home shopping network a sales sensation, but at a cost...

Murphy receives "over the title" star-billing, but Goldblum is arguably the leading man. Editing may have resulted in Murphy getting less screen time; it's difficult to tell. More probably, the actors were paid more millions than film realized at the box office. Murphy is acting out of his comfort zone and Goldblum always seems to work best opposite special effects. The overall film fails, but there are effective scenes. For example, Murphy crashing Goldblum's party is fun, with Eric McCormack (as Scott Hawkes) contributing well (throughout). As GBSN co-workers, Jon Cryer and Robert Loggia lend good support...

There are several celebrity cameos. Worst may be Betty White advertising an aphrodisiac that make women smell like clams (apparently). Best is Morgan Fairchild promoting a non-surgical "face-lift" which distorts her visage. Moreover, director Stephen Herek and Murphy should have worked together to improve the latter's participation in the GBSN skits - perhaps adding a little of the spontaneous happenstance Lucille Ball delivered so well. This might have also helped Murphy's "chainsaw" segment, which seems out-of-character and doesn't pull all the potential comedy from the situation.

**** Holy Man (10/9/98) Stephen Herek ~ Jeff Goldblum, Eddie Murphy, Kelly Preston, Eric McCormack
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A Thought provoking movie about materialism
david-sarkies28 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is a really surprising movie to come out of Disneyland (or Touchstone Pictures, which is Disney's non-children specific film house). I say this because in a way it is very anti-capitalist, and has people come to the understanding that using people to get to where they want to be is not a good thing. In fact, this movie seems to spit in the face of what is typical about American Culture - that is that the individual is most important and the success of the individual, over and above the welfare of others, is what counts the most.

The movie focuses around an executive in a home shopping network. The problem is that this network is failing due to lack of sales, and he is given the blame. He thinks himself to be a pretty good salesperson, but the reality is that he is the same as all the others. Then one day they find themselves broken down on the freeway and sees a weird man walking along the medium strip. He tries to hide from him but his partner sees him and waves. This man, G (Eddie Murphy) responds and approaches them. Even though the executive does not want G around, he comes to see that G has a lot of charisma and simply attracts people. Upon seeing this, he begins to use G for everything that he has.

The movie is thus about how this executive comes to terms with himself and how he is treating G. G will do anything for him and asks for nothing in return. Though G spouts a lot of wisdom, he will use his charisma and the things that he talks about to sell products. He really doesn't care what G has to say, nor is he interested in what he has to say to others. Rather he wants to increase his sales quota so that he can remain in his job.

It is interesting to note that the movie begins appearing to be one way with an antagonist, but this guy vanishes quickly and we realise that the antagonist is the executive himself. He doesn't crash and burn though, but rather realises the gift that he has been given, and upon seeing that, releases G. What G has showed him that it is not the money or material goods that count, but the relationships that we have with others. When we lose something, then we know that it is gone. In a way, we take things foregranted until they are gone. This is not the key to the movie, but one of the minor things that comes out of it.

It is not a movie about redemption, nor is it a tragedy, but rather it is about a man who comes to understand himself and how he has completely missed the point of things. Personally, I think it is very good.
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