Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.


The two men are deep in thought.

Semmi: But where in New York can one find a woman with grace, elegance, taste and culture? A woman suitable for a king.
Prince Akeem, Semmi: Queens!

Thus, the Prince of Zamunda and his servant begin their journey in Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America, which has aired a few times on television this month. Am I really going to overanalyze an Eddie Murphy movie? Yup.

One of the interesting tensions in the movie is between Akeem and his father King Jaffe Joffer, played by James Earl Jones. Like many parents, Joffer does not want his son to experience the hardships he faced. Unlike these parents, the hardships faced by the King of Zamunda are relatively benign. Consider the following exchange.

Prince Akeem: I am a man who has never tied his own shoes.
King Jaffe Joffer: Wrong. You are a PRINCE who has never tied his own shoes. I tied my own shoes once. It is an overrated experience.

Despite the exchange, Akeem sets off to follow his own path. The King is right about one thing, though. Akeem is a prince, and his actions distinguish him from others. As his love interest Lisa notes, Akeem can effortlessly articulate his thoughts and manages to carry himself in a way that is “above anything petty.” These qualities are what draw Lisa away from her boyfriend Darryl and attract her to Akeem.

While it can be difficult to break out of a comfortable situation, new challenges if conquered offer the promise of greater happiness. If one can face these challenges while maintaining integrity and confidence, it might best be described as regal.

[All the quotes in this entry were found on IMDB.]


5 responses

  1. Lav

    Queens definitely has some unique attributes.

    Your overanalysis is definitely on the mark. One must be forged in a fire; a comfortable 70 degrees isn’t going to cut it.

    November 5, 2006 at 4:40 pm

  2. Neelam

    Very inspiring post!

    November 5, 2006 at 6:41 pm

  3. Krish

    That’s an interesting Times article. I just finished reading Freakonomics, and I’m sure Steven Levitt would have a field day with that data.

    November 5, 2006 at 7:54 pm

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