The movie industry seems to revel in scrutinizing the television industry with films like The Truman Show. Holy Man (Buena Vista) follows this line by satirizing home shopping networks.
As a top executive at the Good Buy Shopping Network, Ricky Hayman (Jeff Goldblum, Lost World: The Jurassic Park) leads a lavish life. He owns an apartment in Miami, drives a convertible and has gorgeous women constantly surrounding him. His professional life, however, is in shambles because network sales have been flat for 18 months.
The new owner of GBSN, Mr. McBainbridge (Robert Loggia, Lost Highway) calls on media analyst Kate Newell (Kelly Preston, Jerry Maguire) to look at the company’s financial future. Ricky quickly realizes he could lose his job if the company’s sales do not increase.
Everything seems to be going downhill for Ricky, but then he meets “G” (Eddie Murphy, Dr. Doolittle). G is an evangelist searching for his own spirituality. As Ricky’s last hope to boost network sales, Ricky offers G his own show on GBSN. Thanks to G’s irresistible charm, the network fortunes start to improve.
As G, Murphy reveals he can play more than the energetic fast-talking characters he normally portrays. In Holy Man, he plays a wise, charming, religious man with ease. Murphy brings together the sentimental and comical facets of G to create a believable and interesting character.
Although Murphy dominates the film, the other actors also give commendable performances. Once again, Goldblum quietly proves his talent. His character transforms from a selfish man into someone who cares about others. By the end of the movie, he even discovers love. Goldblum’s performance allows the audience to understand the evolution and, more importantly, believe it.
Preston proves she is more than simply John Travolta’s wife – she is a good actress. Her character’s romantic relationship with Ricky is a key concept in the movie. The love story, however, is classic and follows the Hollywood formula that a man and woman working together must fall in love by the end of the movie.
A few celebrities make cameo appearances in the film. Morgan Fairchild, James Brown and Nino Cerutti, the famous Italian fashion designer, all have small parts and contribute memorable scenes.
Holy Man is not simply a comedy. It is also a movie about life, love and the superficial world of television. Holy Man tackles an intriguing subject and offers a different look at home shopping networks. The combination of religion with TV shopping is unusual, but it works. With an interesting plot and Murphy’s big name, Holy Man will attract viewers, but those who expect a pure comedy will be surprised by the movie’s emotional aspects.
Holy Man opens in theaters Friday.