Sunday, November 3, 2013

Preaching About Girls - From "Coming to America" (1988)

If you have never seen this film before then you are missing out on one of the funniest comedies ever made. Briefly, since this not a review of the film, it is the story of an African Prince, played by Eddie Murphy, who comes to America in search of a bride to be his Queen. He is accompanied by his servant, played by Arsenio Hall.

During the film they each play several parts; all brilliantly; but one of my favorite scenes is the one with the Preacher, played by Mr. Hall, at the gathering of a local community group. I don’t think there is any real lesson in this scene, unless it is to lampoon the mega-churches of the time. This film was made when TV evangelists such as Jimmy Swaggart and the Baker’s over at PTL were in their heyday.

That day is quickly returning with the rise of the “mega-church” from coast to coast here in America. The houses inhabited by the Pastors of these “churches”; which are tax free; approach palatial proportions. Here in Charlotte we have the Elevation Church, with the pastor their earning an undisclosed salary and living in a 16,000 square foot house. But that is another matter.

Enjoy the clip, or better yet, get the film and enjoy the whole story. The film is rich in characters, and the story is incredibly funny. Interesting note; Art Buchwald originally pitched this same story line to the studio and was turned away. Imagine his surprise when the film came out, with the storyline centering around an African Prince, rather than a Jewish immigrant! He sued, and won.

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