Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes, and clips and puts it all in perspective.
Eddie Murphy wants an Oscar. And with Mr. Church, he's going for it hard core. You don't do this kind of movie for the money. You do this movie because you want to hobnob with your celebrity friends in the award show circuit.
This movie is trying to pull on your heartstrings so much your heartstrings might just snap and leave you in a stupor. I admit, this is not my kind of movie. It doesn't pass the smell test. The idea is that someone dies and hires Mr. Church to cook for a daughter and her mom until the mom dies of cancer, I mean, that's nice and all, but you could also leave them a hefty bulk sum which they can manage on their own. It's also really risky to employ people from beyond the grave. It's difficult to enforce. Mr. Church is a mensch but he could have just cooked them nothing and they'd have to sit there and take it.
Now I just said Mr. Church is a mensch, but maybe the twist is that he's a crazy person. Think about it. Mr. Church pays for Britt Robertson's college in cash after mom has passed away and he doesn't even work for them anymore. I mean, really, why is he throwing money at perfectly capable people? Insanity, that's why. There's a clue. In the trailer, we are shown that Mr. Church has one rule. Don't go through his drawers. If you go through his stuff, he will get super pissed off. My guess: That's where Mr. Church imagines a tiny man, his own Mister Mxyzpltk, instructing him to do stuff: “Give money away! Pay people's bills! Take care of their babies! Do it, do it, do it!” I'm going to assume, in the final shot of the movie, he is recounting the whole story to his therapist in an insane asylum, and he's not even Eddie Murphy. And he's like, “Why did I pay that girl's college tuition? I mean, couldn't she have gotten a loan?”
And that's okay! Because if I'm to understand the lesson in all this – take out your hankies everyone – it's that Mr. Church is there to help this family, but maybe, just maybe, they're there to help him. Also, awards. They'd like some awards for this, please.