Coming to America (1988)

Paramount

A spectacular display of Eddie Murphy’s talents, Coming to America comes for everybody of every demographic, and heaven help you if you can’t take a joke. Murphy’s Prince Akeem plays straightman, mostly, to a cavalcade of self-owning weirdos.

The movie presents a version of New York where almost everyone is a scammer on some level — freeing up Murphy and Arsenio Hall to play a barrage of questionable characters.

But the movie has a good heart: Akeem has a fundamental decency whether living the life of a rich man or poor man, and his desire for a true partner keeps us invested through all the lunacy. It’s one of the funniest comedies and one of the most thoughtful.