Coming To America (1988)
After working together on the hugely successful breakout comedy Trading Places, director John Landis and comedian Eddie Murphy had two very different career arcs. Specifically Eddie Murphy was the biggest comedy star in the world and John Landis went through a series of flops and tragedies. So when given a chance to develop a film on his own, Murphy wanted to do his friend a favor and personally selected Landis to direct. They famously had serious personality conflict on set – it almost came to blows. But to his credit, Landis completely let Murphy off the leash. This isn’t a straight-man buddy-comedy two-hander like Trading Places. Murphy plays several roles in telling the story of a confused African prince trying to understand the world of the African-American experience. With flashes of true brilliance, it almost feels more like an Eddie Murphy concept album than a regular Hollywood comedy, and benefits heavily from that freedom.