Norbit


Director: Brian Robbins

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Eddie Griffin, Cuba Gooding Jr

I suspect that the conversation in the offices of Dream Works went a little something like this: “How about a comedy about a fat woman who is very mean to her meek husband, but instead of having a woman play the part, we’ll get a man”. The reply would be thus: “But Big Momma’s House already has a sequel, and I’m not sure if people could stomach another one”. To which would be probably answered: “But this time we’ll use Eddie Murphy, no-one will realise they’re watching the same movie again”.

Norbit grew up in an orphanage, and was good friends with Kate before she was finally adopted. Slightly slow and naïve Norbit chances upon Rasputia, a nasty and overbearing girl who decides that Norbit is the prime material for courting. Soon they are married and Norbit becomes the punch bag for the vilest woman imaginable. Of course, as luck would have it, Kate returns. And ho-hum, some other stuff happens that I really couldn’t care less about, and finally the movie ends.

Murphy should ashamed of himself. Maybe the stress from realising he is father of Scary Spice’s offspring has clouded his judgement, because his output of late has been atrocious.I Spy, Pluto Nash and the Haunted Mansion are all part of a growing list.

He really can act, as was shown in Dream Girls, and is funny, as in Donkey, but this movie is a monumental mistake. Big Mamas House was incredibly unfunny, and Norbit is below that. A rubbish story with equally rubbish jokes makes a labouring mess of a film.

It’s hard to describe how bad Norbit really is. I didn’t laugh once. For example: Rasputia washing a car and getting wet while skimpily dressed to the song “Milkshake” from Kelis. A three year old would come up with better than that. And that is the limit of the jokes. It’s a sad and sorry state of affairs for Murphy, who during the 80’s really had a firm grasp on comedy. Now he could actually be called worse than Martin Lawrence, which really is an insult.

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