Eddie Murphy stars in the remake of "The Nutty Professor". Most of you remember that in the original movie, Jerry Lewis portrays a shy, nerdy (but brilliant) college professor. He decides that the problems in his life can be solved by a potion which increases his stature and self confidence. After a bunch of typically silly Jerry gags, the protagonist realizes that the key to taking control of his social life is not the physical changes afforded by the potion, but the confidence and carriage which accompanied those changes. So, who needs the superficial physical changes?
But, this is "The Nutty Professor" for the nineties! Eddie spends the first part of the movie in a fat suit. After they have run out of the standard fat gags that we have all seen several thousand times, the protagonist decides that all of his problems are caused by being fat. He mixes up some potion in the lab. As soon as he takes it, he is instantly and effortlessly transformed (like every diet commercial on TV) into a far-too-thin version of his former self.
The rest of the movie is spent with Eddie frolicking in his new life, and worrying about whether he is going to change back.
Does the film contain the same final lesson about the insignificance of outward appearance as the original did? Who cares? The damage is already done in the opening volleys. The fact that such blatantly propagandist and bigoted garbage can make it to the movie screen shows how far the fat acceptance movement has yet to come.
I wonder how amused movie audiences in the last decade of this century would be if the star of this movie was John Goodman, and he spent the first half of the movie in blackface, then his life got better when he wiped it off.
I'm sure that such a movie would offend a lot of people. So should this one.
A final thought, though. Since the protagonist decides to change his size, and not his color, even the politically elite in Hollywood are admitting that it is now a greater social and economic liability to be fat in this country than it is to be Black.