Written by Obes Nwabara (@TheCSPod)
I’ve probably seen Coming to America like 50 times. That’s not an exaggeration. The amount of times I’ve sat down while that movie was playing is more than halfway to 100. I *really* like this movie. That being said, I couldn’t help but notice that our main character, Akeem, shows some rather terrible judgment. I don’t wanna say he’s an idiot but if he’s supposed to be the next ruler of Zamunda, our favorite African nation has some rough days ahead.
Here are three reasons why Akeem being kind of an idiot makes Coming to America trash:
- Akeem marries Lisa after knowing her for all of 12 days
The reason he and Semmi have gone to America is to find what is supposed to be the woman of his dreams. They’ve done this because Akeem decided, after knowing her for all of five minutes, that Imani (the woman he is arranged to marry) is not right for him. He then flies to Queens, NY and falls in love with the first woman he sees who can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. Let’s take a closer look at that last thing:
The trip that Akeem and Semmi are on is 40 days long. Let’s assume they spend the first 2 weeks of that roughly 6 week trip cruising “all of the bars in Queens” as Semmi has said they’ve done. Great, now there’s 4 weeks left. Akeem and Semmi then discover future wife Lisa at a local charity talent show and get jobs at the fast food establishment that her father owns and she works at. She’s got a pretty serious boyfriend that Akeem has to work around, including saving everyone’s life while stopping an armed robber.
Let’s say he’s super efficient and it takes him 2 more weeks of working there to get Mr. McDowell to like him enough to get invited to his house to work at a party. It’s only now, with 12 days left, that he starts dating Lisa after she breaks up with her boyfriend. Akeem puts the icing on this poor decision cake by proposing marriage to Lisa and then renouncing his throne when she initially says no. Fam…what?!
Are you married? Were you ready to get married after 12 days? Were you ready to renounce your throne as prince of fucking Zamunda for your spouse after 12 days of knowing them? No? Just Akeem? Oh ok.
2. Lisa’s probably going to go back to Darryl
One thing that the film doesn’t fully capture is that Akeem, while being 21, has never dated before..like anyone…ever. As a result, he’s unaware of the cycles people go through in relationships. The reason Lisa’s even available for Akeem to (briefly) date is her boyfriend decided to try to strong-arm her into marrying him. While angry and vulnerable, she starts dating Akeem.
Did you see any closure there? Like, any whatsoever? Feel free to read that first paragraph again if you need to. Darryl did try to go over Lisa’s head to get her to marry him, but they’ve been dating for what I would imagine is a couple years and the film never shows him treating her badly at any point prior to this. There’s a pretty decent chance that she’d go back to him after thinking things through. You, my wonderfully smart and incredibly good-looking reader, know that because you’ve dated people for longer than 12 days before. Akeem hasn’t, and even though he’s the prince of Zamunda and heir to the throne, he has to play by the rules of love just like the rest of us. Hey speaking of being the heir to the throne…
3. Akeem renounces his throne as prince of Zamunda…but took it back(?)
I mentioned earlier that Akeem renounced his throne as the heir of Zamunda while trying to show Lisa that all he cared about was being with her. We then flash forward to the wedding where Akeem and Lisa get married. Here’s the thing about that…that was on a train full of people. There are multiple witnesses that heard this man give up his claim as heir to the throne. He just took it back? Did he get back to the Waldorf-Astoria and just pretend that never happened? Good luck with that.
It was a time before cell phone cameras, but you can bet that it was news that the royal family of Zamunda was in America. Really, it should’ve been rather big news that the prince was there too but that’s some trash for another time, or can? Whatever, the point is people heard him abdicate his throne. There’s no takebacks for that. Akeem’s not the goat herder he told Lisa he was but he’s not a prince anymore either. What’s more, Zamunda is now without an heir. All that over a woman you’ve known for less than 2 weeks and haven’t even had sex with. Well done, kid.
Obes can be reached for comment on Twitter and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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