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R
| | 1 hr 56 min | Comedy, Romance

Coming to America is a John Landis comedy from 1988. Akeem Joffer is the royal prince of Zamunda, a rich and fictional country in Africa. However, despite his country's wealth and riches, he is bored with his life. This reaches a head when he is presented with his future wife, Imani, a woman he has never before that was trained to be totally subservient to Akeem. With Imani offering no intellectual stimulation, Akeem plans to leave for the United States of America. There, he plans to find an independent woman to accept him for himself, and not for his crown. He leaves with his personal assistant, Semmi, for Queens as Akeem rationalizes it is the best-named place for finding a queen. There, they rent a poor apartment in Long Island City, working a McJob and claiming to be poor students from a foreign country.

Akeem eventually finds himself falling for Lisa, the daughter of his boss, as she seems to have the exact qualities he seeks in a mate. The remainder of the film focuses on Akeem's courtship of Lisa, made more difficult due to Lisa having a lazy, annoying boyfriend. Despite Akeem thriving on working hard and learning about life as a commoner, Semmi does not share the same zeal. At one point, Akeem gives the pair's traveling cash to some homeless people, Semmi pleads to Zamunda's King for more financial aid. Worried, the Zamundan royals head to the United States, blowing Akeem's cover.

Despite Lisa's father being elated that her daughter would draw a prince's eye and her own attractions to Akeem, Lisa is angry that Akeem would lie to her. Even after offering to abdicate, she refuses his proposal, with Akeem, broken-hearted, returning with his parents to their homeland. Sensing that he will never meet a woman as lovely again, Akeem will marry whomever his parents pick. On the ride to the airport, King Joffe explains that Akeem can't marry Lisa due to tradition, but Queen Aoleon shoots that defense down by reminding Joffe that he could easily change tradition as the king.

The final scene of the film is a wedding procession with Akeem standing bored at the altar as the bride-to-be walks toward the altar, but upon lifting the veil for her kiss, he finds that Lisa will be the bride for this arranged wedding. The newlyweds head off joyously in a carriage, with the ringing cheers of Zamundans wishing them well as they pass.

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Stars
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, John Amos, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley
Director
John Landis
Language
English
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