Eddie Murphy’s First Movie In Years: Plays ‘Mr. Church’ With ‘Quiet Dignity’ But Zero Charisma

Eddie Murphy is one celebrity who has overcome all barriers when it comes to achieving success in his professional as well as personal life. As well as being a vocal critique of the diversity problem that haunted the Academy Awards this year, Eddie Murphy has also experienced his own share of diverse romantic relationships throughout his adult life. The Beverly Hills Cop star has been in relationships with various women including Nicole Mitchell Murphy, Tamara Hood Johnson, Paulette McNeely, Spice Girl Mel B, and most recently, Paige Butcher: the Perth-raised model and actress.

Yahoo News reports that the Beverly Hills Cop star welcomed his baby girl with girlfriend Paige Butcher last Tuesday.

According to People’s Celebrity Babies, a statement from the actor’s representative mentioned that the newly arrived bundle of joy weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and measured 19-and-a-half inches long. Importantly, the publication mentioned that both the baby and her mother were doing fine.

Eddie Murphy has now become a father of nine after welcoming the baby girl. The Shrek star previously fathered five children with ex-wife Nicole Mitchell Murphy, along with two sons from two previous girlfriends. He also has a 9 nine-year-old daughter, Angel, with former Spice Girls member Melanie Brown.

The baby’s arrival comes at a time when Eddie Murphy’s latest movie Mr. Church is doing well at the box office. Directed by Australian director Bruce Beresford, the movie is a sentimental portrayal of the relationship between a wealthy white woman and Mr. Church, a nobly subservient black man who helps to fix the lives of the employer’s family.

The Guardian reports that, in his first film role after a hiatus of four years, Eddie Murphy plays the title character with quiet dignity and delivers a solid performance on a high note; however, the usual lively charisma of the actor has worn down to zero.

The movie focuses on Mr. Church, a cook who has been employed to look after the wealthy Marie (Natascha McElhone) and her 10-year-old daughter Charlotte (Natalie Coughlin). The spoiled Charlotte is shown throwing tantrums for Apple Jacks cereal rather than Mr. Church’s lavish steak, eggs and grits but is soon won over by both Mr. Church’s delicacies and his literary classics collection.

Marie, on the other hand, is busy concealing her breast cancer from Charlotte, while Mr. Church’s personal life remains a mystery as the character continues to attend to his daily chores in the same outfit consisting of a brown shirt, long black overcoat and brimmed hat, day after day.

Marie outlives her cancer prognosis long enough to see her daughter attend her first prom, and by this time Mr. Church is part of the family unit, though he’s still working hard for the family from morning until night and calling Marie “ma’am.” Years later, after Charlotte, who is now a less objectionable teenager played by Britt Robertson, comes to live with Mr. Church, his secretive late-night trips to a jazz lounge and drunken rants shed some light on his religious father who apparently disowned him.

And apart from the story of Mr. Church, the movie also has elements and subplots that serve to make the movie more interesting. For example, the movie also has characters like Charlotte’s former school friend who turns into a wealthy fashion designer whose extravagant lifestyle fails to make up for the fact that she can’t have children; in addition to a fairytale subplot involving the salvation of the local drunk.

However, it is the film’s racial theme, particularly its stereotypical depiction of willing servitude by an African-American character, and the characters’ refusal to acknowledge this imbalance of power, which makes the movie memorable. In fact, the movie is reminiscent of Bruce Beresford’s Driving Miss Daisy, the 1989 American comedy-drama which was based on similar themes.

[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]