Murphy plays Marcus, an advertisement executive who regularly picks up women and as soon as he has slept with them, breaks up the relationship for petty reasons. He then falls in love for real.
This film has examples of:
- Adam Westing: Eccentric supermodel-turned-singer/actress Grace Jones parodies her media persona as deranged supermodel Helen Strangé.
- Eartha Kitt plays Lady Eloise as an overtly sexual, positively voracious older woman who acts like she's still a fierce mankiller and corporate tycoon, when in reality Marcus isn't really either intimidated by or infatuated with her and does the deed strictly for the chance to get promoted — a power that Eloise doesn't have. Played with, in that the character was originally much grosser, but Kitt felt it went too far and balked at the role until it was changed.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Angela chooses Marcus over Gerard.
- Animal Motif: Marcus is referred to as a dog, which is slang for a man who sleeps around, throughout the movie. He turns his head like a dog anytime he sees an attractive woman and is thinking of how to get her in bed, and his Leitmotif is Atomic Dog by George Clinton.
- Armor-Piercing Response: Marcus tells Jacqueline he cant sleep with her, because he realizes hes in love with Angela. To which Jacqueline responds:Jacqueline: If youre in love with Angela, why are you here with me?Marcus: Exactly. [Marcus gets up and leaves.]
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Angela slaps Marcus after he credits her with making him a better man... which makes him attractive to Jacqueline again.
- Belated Love Epiphany: Marcus only realizes hes in love with Angela after he has cheated on her. Once he comes home to be with her, he finds a "Dear John" Letter and her stuff gone. Ultimately subverted though, as she takes him back a few months later.
- Betty and Veronica: Angela vs Jacqueline. Later in the movie, Gerard and Marcus are this respectively, to Angela.
- Big Entrance: Strangés arrival at the party, riding a chariot powered by half-naked men.
- Break-Up Song: End of the Road by Boyz II Men and Love Shoulda Brought You Home by Toni Braxton.
- The Casanova: Marcus is a massive womanizer, having his assistant send flowers to numerous women saying "Only thinking of you."
- Dada Ad: Nelson and Strangé create an ad, in which Strangé is in a flaming jungle in labor and gives birth to a bottle of perfume.
- Dirty Old Woman: Lady Eloise.
- The Ditz: Christie comes off as this.
- Erotic Eating: Nelson creates a cosmetics commercial that takes this beyond the target rating limits. Marcus has to step in get him to tone it down.
- Establishing Character Moment: Marcus scheming to get Christie in bed by pretending to have a lost dog, then pretending to have a lost love, and immediately leaving once they have sex all set up his ladykiller character.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Angela makes unprompted remarks about how attractive Jacqueline is, leading Marcus and Angela to discuss this trope and the Even the Guys Want Him trope.
- Everything Is Racist: Tyler. He accuses a white waitress of being racist, because she asks them if they want to order asparagus "spears" rather than "tips". He later explains how the game of pool is actually a racist metaphor.Tyler: The white ball dominates everything, right? Knocks the shit out of the yellow ball, the red ball, right? And the games over when the white ball drives the black ball completely off the table. Now why is that?
Gerard: I dont know. But Im sure youll tell me, my brutha?
Tyler: Its because of the white mans fear of the sexual potency of black balls.
Marcus: Now that one was interesting. And the pool table is the Earth, thats why its green. And they used to think the world was flat.
- Flanderization: Angela starts out as really laid back, and in one scene where she finds out where Marcus cheated on her, she tells him to "Stay the fuck out of her life!"; later on in the movie her cursing habits are amped up whereas, before that scene, she was relatively mellow.
- Foreshadowing: Before his hookup with Lady Eloise, Marcus sees the woman's bodyguard looking at him, then laughing to himself. At the time, Marcus thinks the guy is getting a kick of Marcus sleeping his way to the top. When Marcus discovers Lady Eloise is just a figurehead and has no power in the company, he sees the bodyguard laughing harder and realizes too late the guy knew that the entire time and was enjoying Marcus' All for Nothing "strategy."
- Forgot About His Powers: After doing such a great job picking up Christie, Marcus technique with Jacqueline is surprisingly incompetent.
- Friend to All Children: To further drive home that Angela is the stereotypical Nice Girl, she also volunteers as an art teacher to under-served teenagers.
- Ironic Echo: After Marcus cheats on Angela with Jacqueline, Angela tells him, Love shoulda brought your ass home last night. Later, when he has a Belated Love Epiphany and comes home to an empty apartment, the song playing is "Love Shoulda Brought You Home".
- I Want My Mommy!: The first time he has sex with Jacqueline, Marcus is the one who needs to call his mother.
- Karma Houdini: Jacqueline spurning Marcus is intended to serve as comeuppance for all of his previous philandering. However, he then goes on to first steal Angela from his best friend, Gerard, and then cheats on Angela with Jacqueline. Despite all this, Marcus wins back both Gerards friendship and Angelas love and gets to reject Jacqueline like she rejected him.
- Ladykiller in Love: The whole plot point of the movie. Marcus falls in love with the one woman he thinks is his equal. But soon finds out that she's an even more ruthless player than he is.
- MayDecember Romance: Marcus and Lady Eloise, though it's not exactly a romance...
- Meaningful Name: Strangé, who is definitely a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander.
- Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Marcus spends most of his relationships doing this to women due to an unconscious fear of commitment. He waits until after they've had sex, then breaks up with women because they don't have tiny feet and other such jackassery. Then he finally meets a woman he can't find fault in and falls in love.
- Monochrome Casting: Every member of the cast is of African descent, with most being African-American and a few (Grace Jones, Geoffrey Holder) Afro-Caribbean.
- Nipple and Dimed: A perfume commercial is being edited and the main characters go to great lengths to figure out whether a shot of her bare chest features a nipple. Marcus insists it's just a shadow. Eventually, the editor does a close-up and declares, "It's a nipple, 'cause I'm drooling".
- Red Shirt: Marcus and Angela talk about this trope while watching an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series and seeing Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and "Yeoman Johnson" beam down to an unknown planet.
- Rom Com Job: Marcus, Jacqueline, and Angela are all in the advertising business.
- Sexy Coat Flashing: Jacqueline does this for Marcus after she shows up extremely late for a date.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Bony T, played by Chris Rock, disappears from the movie after Jacqueline spurns and humiliates Marcus.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Angela quits her volunteer work as an art teacher after Marcus cheats on her with Jacqueline. Even includes a minor Evil Makeover.
- Sleeping Their Way to the Top: Marcus sleeps with Lady Eloise in hopes of being appointed head of marketing, but his plan is ultimately subverted, because Lady Eloise isnt in charge of her own company.
- Sleeping with the Boss: Subverted to comic effect. Marcus forces himself to sleep with Lady Eloise who just acquired his company. He's confident the day after, meeting Jacqueline and boasting of how he's got the inside track for the upcoming promotion. Jacqueline then breaks it to him that Eloise hasn't been involved with the company for years and is just a figurehead with no power.
- Titled After the Song: Inverted. Angela tells Marcus that "love shoulda brought your ass home last night," inspiring the (Bowdlerised) title of the Toni Braxton song, "Love Shoulda Brought You Home".
- Two Guys and a Girl: Angela leaves Gerard for Gerards best friend, Marcus.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Gerard is extremely straight-laced, while his father is flamboyant, outspoken, and loves to "coordinate".
- Woman Scorned:
- Yvonne, Marcus Cranky Neighbor who was one among many women Marcus slept with and then spurned. She now spends her time warning away other woman Marcus invites over.
- When Marcus refuses the advances of Strangé in the restaurant (to the extent he falsely claims to be gay), she does not take it well. At all.Strangé: "Gay". You're not gay, you just don't wanna fuck me! [Various patrons gasp in shock and one even does a mid-meal Spit Take] I mean, I know a gay man when I see one, I know what a gay guy looks like; my brother is gay! [Turns to a random man] And you! You; he's gay! [Turns to another man] And he is gay! [Storms off] Merde! Toi tu sais même pas, fais chier, même pas baiser! Va t'enculer, tout le monde!note