Life Lessons Learnt from Coming To America
Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America is to BWNG what Michael Jackson’s Thriller is to the rest of the world. No matter what controversy both of these brothers faced after their respective classics, it all boils down to “…yeah he [Insert controversial event] but the dude made Coming to America / Thriller”.
Whereas Thriller changed the music industry, CTA’s impact was more personal in that its replay value has enabled us to spot new jokes and life lessons every time we watch it year on year. Here are a few that I have learnt over the past 15 years of watching the classic movie that is Coming to America.
Arranged Marriages are social-engineered pimping
“When are you going to find yourself a good wife…” – [Enter your mother’s name here]
It is difficult to comprehend the concept of arranged marriages having grown up in the western world and having traditional African parents. I personally struggle to fight off the influx of Skype contacts from my mother with messages such as “what about this one? She is from your grandmother’s village…good girl”
Having watched CTA numerous times, I was able to construct a good enough excuse to weather the storm of arranged marriages –Until the next family gathering-. “No mum, arranged marriages are social engineered Pimping”
“…a queen to do whatever his highness desires…”
“…a vision of perfection, an object of affection to quench your royal fire”
“…completely free from infection, to be used at your discretion, when it’s only for your direction…”
These words could easily be mistaken for Don ‘Magic’ Juan’s P.I.M.P manual.
The Barbershop is the Temple for Game
There aren’t many places in the world where brothers can go and be able to interact with a variety of people without it ending in a fist fight. To some it’s the church or a psychiatrist, but to a majority of us it’s the Barbershop. Be it sports, females or financial game, there is no better place for a brother to soak up game than a Barbershop.
Akeem learns to keep his natural hair
Akeem learns that the FATHER is the key to getting Lisa (to 0:20)
Akeem learns about boxing history
Isn’t it ironic that the brothers with the game always tend to have the freshest shape up? It’s a two for one purchase when you get a trim, the game is thrown in as a bonus.
Dumb down for the Audience
Don Kwelu once stated, “…there is a difference between people born into wealth and those that have new found wealth” The former tend to be modest in how they carry themselves, whilst the latter tend to be excessive and it is not therefore surprising that they attract more materialistic people around them.
How many people do you know that give up the lifestyle of LV suitcases and ‘seek meagre accommodation’, in order to find a woman that likes him for who he is? It is therefore not a surprise that brothers who tend to find themselves moaning about materialistic women in their lives happen to be the same brothers who give off the impression that they have a lot of money through excessive dress sense as Don Kwelu pointed out once again.
Lesson learnt: Don’t expect a woman to like you for who you are if all you represent is who you’re not, unless you want to play the “Semmi” role all your life.
Samuel L Jackson has the best agent in Hollywood
This brother is in every film I can think of. If there was ever a black man on the Titanic, I am sure Samuel L would have got the role.
Playing the Akeem Role
There is a thin line between the Akeem and the Heskey role.
- Both men befriended their women of interest
- Both men provided a shoulder to cry on
- Both men were looking for love
- Both got positive “friendship” feedback
Akeem played his position as a worker/servant but was ever so subtly dropping seeds of thought at each and every occasion, to the point where Lisa actually started to consider him as an option. For example J Lo and Melanie B have ended up marrying their back up dancers at one point, because these dudes were playing the Akeem role and played it well. Heskey on the other hand was confused between the boyfriend and the friend zone, so once he was placed into the latter, there is no get out clause.
There is a God Somewhere
“…turn around ladies for me please…man cannot make it like this Larry Flint and Hugh Hefner they can take the picture but they can’t make it like this…”
To this day I fail to find a film that has had such a lovely blend between humour and life lessons. I keep finding new ones on a daily basis, but would love to hear your opinion of the different jokes and lessons from CTA so I can have a reason to rewind the selectah –as if I need an excuse-.
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