Eddie Murphy’s next bit of comedy will hopefully prove to be much funnier than Tower Heist. While amusing at times, the humor in the Brett Ratner directed film seemed spread a bit too thin across its promising cast. A Thousand Words seems to be entirely Murphy-focused, complete with a goofy scenario in which his character is entrapped.
A Thousand Words puts Murphy back in the hands of Norbit and Meet Dave director Brian Robbins. The story follows Murphy’s character Jack McCall, a literary agent who should know a thing or two about the value of words. If not, he’s about to learn when he finds his life tethered to a magical Bodhi tree in his backyard. With each word he speaks, a leaf falls from the tree and as he soon learns, when the last leaf falls, the tree dies and he goes with it.
From what we’re shown in the trailer, it looks like all of this transpires because of a lie he told to the wrong person.
Both of the clips below seem to give us an indication of what kind of man Jack McCall is prior to finding his life entwined with a tree. This first one features a clip that’s actually shown in the trailer and has Jack lying his way to the front of the line.
Playing a fast-talking guy willing to make a show to get himself through a situation isn’t unfamiliar territory for Murphy. That kind of humor goes back to his Trading Places days (“I can see! I have legs!”), although it seems a tad bit watered down here.
And in this one, he’s talking to his wife about the house they live in. She’s trying to convince him they need to move, but it seems like he’s unwilling to make major (necessary) changes to their living situation.
Given what we’re shown in both clips, and the trailer, the whole story seems set up to teach Murphy’s character a life-lesson about placing value on his words. Beyond that, the movie looks like an excuse for some physical comedy on the party of Murphy as he tries to say things without using up his words. There are also a few great names on the cast list, including Allison Janney, Clark Duke, and Jack McBrayer.
A Thousand Words is going up against Friends with Kids with a release date of March 9, which should give the comedy a fair bit of competition, given that the Jennifer Westfeldt directed comedy is practically a Bridesmaids reunion in cast. The fact that A Thousand Words is PG-13 may also limit its audience somewhat, as it's probably not entirely "family friendly." (IMDB says "sexual situations including dialogue, language and some drug-related humor.")