How does a comedian, who was constantly criticized for his harsh language and raunchy humor, just some twenty years ago, re-invent himself into a trusted actor in children's movies? Eddie Murphy must know.
Imagine That, Murphy's most recent film, is about a divorced father, Evan Danielson (Murphy), who has found himself in a slump at work, and at home with his daughter, Olivia (Yara Shahidi). Finding it difficult to compete at work and manage a daughter with an overactive imagination, Danielson blows up in a tirade at the office, leaving behind cryptic drawings his daughter created on his once pristine financial reports for an unimpressed, ace client.
As it turns out, these drawings, although childlike, appear to predict the market; which propels Danielson to the top rung of his firm. Danielson now appears more confident at home and at work. But of course, the story doesn't end there.
In this film, the once "Raw" Eddie Murphy has found a way to make his humor transferrable from adult only to family friendly.
"The daddy was really funny," said Bethany, a six year Eddie Murphy fan. "He makes me laugh, a lot."
As the movie ended and the audience began to exit the theatre, many who are old enough to remember the Beverly Hills Cop, could be heard reciting some of the humorous moments from the film; and noting that the harshest word Murphy utters in Imagine That is "poop". Whether this film turns out to be a box office smash, or barely leaves the gate remains to be seen. (So far, Imagine That has earned a little more than 10% of the $55 million dollars it took to make it.) But what could be seen, and heard, was an entertained audience of children and adults sharing a laugh together.