Teaming the absurdly high-concept mind of writer Steve Koren (recent Adam Sandler classics Jack & Jill and Click), the director who played Eric on Head of the Class (recent Eddie Murphy classics Norbit and Meet Dave), and an actor who will do absolutely any broad comedy that can be explained to him in a sentence, A Thousand Words stars Eddie Murphy as a compulsive liar whose frequent mistruths result in him being placed under a powerful hex that will almost surely teach him an important moral lesson by film's end.
After stupidly breaking a promise to a man capable of actual magic spells, thunder crashes and Eddie Murphy finds a fully-grown tree suddenly sprouted in his backyard. Thanks to deductive reasoning and exposition from the magic guy, our lying protagonist soon discovers that this tree sheds a leaf every time he speaks a word, and when it loses all of its leaves, both Murphy and the plant will die--a touching tribute to the part in E.T. where that basically happens. Ut oh, time to be silent, Norbit! Naturally--as with the star's last live-action family comedy, Imagine That--this means scene after scene of a suited Murphy hamming it up in meetings and fancy offices as magic once again almost undoes whatever vague business Eddie Murphy is meant to be doing. Because a movie about a pad of paper and a note that says "laryngitis" wouldn't have as strong an opening weekend.
Bold, GREEN lettering on a white background instead of bold, red lettering on a white background? Perhaps the cutting-edge Eddie Murphy of yore has returned after all.