Akeem Joffer, the heir to the throne of Zamunda (a fictional African kingdom), lives a pampered lifestyle with every daily task performed by servants. Akeem has become fed up with this and wishes to do more for himself. The final straw comes when his parents, King Jaffe and Queen Aeoleon, present him with an arranged bride-to-be named Imani Izzi, whom he has never met and who has been trained to obey Akeem’s every command.
Akeem concocts a plan to travel to the United States to find an intelligent, independent-minded woman he can both love and respect, and who will love Akeem for who he is and not for his wealth and social status as a prince. Akeem and his best friend/personal aide, Semmi, flip a coin to decide between going to either Los Angeles or New York City, and end up going to New York City.
They end up in the borough of Queens and rent a run-down apartment in the neighborhood of Long Island City, passing themselves off as poor foreign students. They begin working at a local fast food restaurant called McDowell’s—an obvious ripoff of McDonald’s—owned by widower Cleo McDowell and his two daughters, Lisa and Patrice.
Coming to America is a 1988 American romantic comedy film directed by John Landis, and based on a story originally created by Eddie Murphy, who also starred in the lead role. The film also co-stars Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley and John Amos. The film was released in the United States on June 29, 1988. Eddie Murphy plays Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of the fictional African nation of Zamunda, who comes to the United States in the hopes of finding a woman he can marry. The film spawned a brief U.S. television spin-off series.
Coming to America (1988)
Directed by: John Landis
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, Paul Bates, Eriq La Salle, Vanessa Bell Calloway
Screenplay by: David Sheffield
Production Design by: Richard Macdonald
Cinematography by: Sol Negrin, Woody Omens
Film Editing by: Malcolm Campbell, George Folsey Jr.
Costume Design by: Deborah Nadoolman
Art Direction by: Richard B. Lewis, Christopher Nowak
Music by: Nile Rodgers
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 29, 1988