First, let's credit "Boomerang" for what it is: an all-Black cast movie not centered on urban crime, drugs, racism, hood etc.This is not the first of its genre: Spike Lee built his reputation by portraying African-Americans in narrative realms outside the usual dictated tropes, but director Reginald Hudlin and writer Barry Blaustein went even further by exploring the world of glam, cosmetics agency, marketing, female power and reversed the roles with white people playing comic reliefs and women dominating men; it's "The Cosby Show" meeting "Working Girl". And from that starting point, it creates a whole new outlet for romantic comedies whose tropes were codified by Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts movies.And in this seemingly implausible world, Eddie Murphy plays Marcus, the smooth-talking womanizer who can get any girl. A lesser movie would've made him arrogant and detestable but Marcus plays in a whole other league, taking women as seriously as any part of his professional endeavor. His character-establishing moment occurs when he improvises a lost-dog scenario by buying a leash on the spot, Lela Ronchon falls in his trap. The trick could work by earning him a number but it works so well she gives hers. One ellipse takes us to him decorating his house with the cautiousness of a caterer and ignoring the insult of his neighbor (Tisha Campbell) who keeps warning new girlfriends about the predator.Yes, Marcus is always on the prowl but his perfectionism is rather impressive: he could have the girl in his bed but he plays it so smooth again he ends up in hers. Then a quick stare on her feet while she's sleeping reveals ugly soles calling for immediate dumping. This is neither a gag, nor a hint at a foot fetish but a revealer of the unconscious overlapping of his trade with his relationships. Indeed, advertisement is all about attentiveness to image or packaging, and so the man regards his preys as 'objects'. But take it for someone who worked in that racket, this is a woman's world, as image-awareness is largely considered a female trait, so for all his masculine act, Marcus got entrapped in the cult-of-image. It's an interesting comment on how image is a double-edged sword for both sexes, while more of a burden for women.The 'feet' aftermath is discussed with his two buddies Gerald (David Alan Grier) and Tyler (Martin Lawrence). They're outsiders who don't understand his reaction but then again he's the Alpha-male while Gerald pushes the platonic button so hard it always propels him into friend-zone and Tyler didn't have sex in the 90s (the film is from 1992). They're too admirative of Marcus to see the problem: being as much a sexual object as the women he objectifies. Later, he spends a night with the president of the agency Lady Eloise (Eartha Kitt) counting on a casting couch promotion. Kitt, 65, gives herself totally to the role and clap to turn off the lights before the rodeo starts, Marcus asks if it can be darker, the line isn't serious but reveals how seriously willing he is.But the promotion is given to Jacqueline, played by the breathtakingly sexy Robin Givens. What Marcus realizes, besides having been used as a sex toy, is that she's his boss, and she's out of the fooling-around zone. It's interesting to see that man whose reputation as a sex-collector makes mail guys bet on his next performances, becomes the subject of his own shenanigans. But Marcus smartly dodges the woman/man issue by inviting Jacqueline for dinner (after all, male colleagues would do that), the result is literally the sprinkler sprinkled. After all his efforts to cook a sumptuous dinner, all she wants is watching the Knicks. The scene is intercut with a cute dinner between Gerald and the new art-director Barbara (Halle Berry) and their interactions and clumsy, cute, genuine but somewhat authentic. The parallel between the two scenes highlights the position of Marcus, awkward only by the standards of usual rom-coms.That's how inventive and innovative the film is, showing a confident men getting a taste of his own medicine, which is the antidote to his toxic relationship with women. He's hit by the boomerang that puts his idea in the right place. And there's something about Murphy's performance: he doesn't overplay his laugh, when he's upset, he asks for the kind of respect women usually demand. The film is so effective in its comment on intersex relationships that the scene with the racist store owner feels too forced and could have been cut without hurting the rest.But there's more in "Boomerang". This is an adult movie that doesn't hide behind its comedic premise, there are soft-core elements making the relationships feel real. In your average rom-com, it's a passionate kiss and before you know it, the L-shaped bed, in "Boomerang" even the sex position or a climax become a grammar that verbalizes the statuses. And sexiness is also the source of hilarity, besides Eartha Kitt, there's Geoffrey Holder as Nelson the goofy video-maker, and there's Grace Jones as Strangé the French mascot for a new perfume, her scenes are so outrageous and over-the-top that I burst out laughing, from the 'stink so good' clip to the infamous restaurant scene, she takes movies to places you wouldn't suspect.Halle Berry brings such a sweet and lovable presence that it's a foregone conclusion she and Murphy will end together, though it's a little unfair for poor Gerald, but otherwise "Boomerang" hits everything right, it uses Murphy's usual persona for a story arc that ends up displaying more respect toward women and accepting that they too can have sexual appetites, in many aspects, the film is avant-guardist, bold and straightforward, and should have a higher reputation, because of its uniqueness.Indeed, I don't recall a movie like "Boomerang" before and after it, that's the mark of great films.
Womanizing executive Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) meets his match when his workplace is bought out by Lady Eloise (Eartha Kitt). In reality, Jacqueline (Robin Givens) is the true queen on the throne. He finds the table turned on him as the power dynamic is switched. Kind-hearted Angela (Halle Berry) is her eager assistant. The outrageous Strangé (Grace Jones) is the new brand ambassador. Gerard (David Alan Grier) and Tyler (Martin Lawrence) are his best friends. Bony T (Chris Rock) is the mailroom boy.The premise is interesting although the all black main cast is probably the most compelling. The boomerang doesn't get going until the midpoint moment. The power dynamic switch needs to get going a lot sooner. When they first meet at the lobby, she needs to pursue him right away. Instead she resisted him like most women thereby setting off his hunting instincts. For it to be a true switcharoo, she needs to be the hunter and he be the hunted. Once the switch happens, it is a fun turnaround. I do like the womanizing Eddie Murphy getting his comeuppance. The heart of this is actually pretty good. Khanya may be the funny one in the movie. 2b1af7f3a8