As anticipation builds for Coming 2 America, the sequel to the hit 1988 film Coming To America starring Eddie Murphy in multiple characters, we’re re-discovering all the reasons why we fell in love with this film. This movie was not only a staple in Black cinema history, but a paradigm-shifting pop culture moment that showed the breadth and depth of Black comedy.
The plot follows Prince Akeem, a determined heir to the throne who defies the arranged marriage set up by his parents and ventures to Queens, New York to find true love. He’s accompanied by his confidante Semmi, who cringes at Prince Akeem’s determination to live in squalor despite his riches. The film gave birth to so many catchphrases, moments, and iconography like “Sexual Chocolate!” and “SOUL GLOW!” that have taken on lives of their own – and it also showed that there isn’t a role Murphy can’t master.
There are also little known gems about the making of Coming To America, directed by John Landis (a longtime collaborator with Michael Jackson) that you may not have known. You might be surprised at where certain scenes were filmed, who almost made the cast and why the Coming To America series never made it to your TV screens.
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