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HOLY MAN

SYNOPSIS:
Ricky Hayman (Jeff Goldblum) is a top executive at a Shopping Network, used to a high-flying glamorous life. But is he suffering from all the stress that goes with high living, including an ulcer and a staggering pile of bills. When his new boss Mr McBainbridge (Robert Loggia) starts to assess the network's sagging financial prospects with media analyst Kate Newell (Kelly Preston), Ricky realises that his job is on the line and that he desperately needs an innovative idea to boost sales. A chance encounter with "G" (Eddie Murphy), an itinerant holy man on a personal spiritual pilgrimage, inspires Ricky to give the charismatic street guru his own TV show…

"Shulman's script and Hereck's direction are full of the right intentions, morally and humanistically. But sadly not cinematically. While the film isn't as bad as some critics think, it is a salutary lesson in what NOT to do with a star like Eddie Murphy. The film is intended as a mix of redemption, buddy movie and above all, a romantic comedy. On the whole, it doesn't gel: it is not funny enough, nor romantic enough to be using either label, and one big problem is that Eddie the comic plays a symbol, not a character. He plays a consonant: G. And G is supposed to stand for Goodness, if not God himself, a mysterious person oozing goodness - especially toward Ricky, for reasons we never learn. The romantic element is putative and tokenistic, the buddy aspect is half washed up before it begins due to the aforementioned vagueness of the Murphy character and the redemption journey for Ricky is all too predictable and tired. Goldblum, nevertheless, is in fine form, and Murphy does his soulful best against type (which wouldn't matter if it worked as a drama, say), and Kelly Preston is tops, working well with Goldblum - but there's just not enough of anything - except good intentions. And, ironically enough, we know where they lead…."
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

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SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

HOLY MAN (PG)
(US)

CAST: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum, Kelly Preston, Robert Loggia, Jon Cryer, Eric McCormack, Sam Kitchin, Robert Small, Marc Macaulay, Mary Stout, Edie McClurg

PRODUCERS: Roger Birnbaum, Stephen Herek

DIRECTOR: Stephen Herek

SCRIPT: Tom Schulman

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Adrian Biddle

EDITOR: Trudy Ship

MUSIC: Alan Silvestri

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Andrew McAlpine

RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 5, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: May 12, 1999
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista







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