NORBITDirected by Brian Robbins
And Writing credits by Jay Scherick & David Ronn
When I first saw the trailer to this movie, I put it on my must-miss-list of movies to avoid. This is because it's a film filled with a lot of slapstick, and I really don't like a lot of slapstick. But there is also another reason. I looked at the trailer and said to myself, "Oh no! Another Eddie Murphy fat-suit movie!"
Most of the reviews I have read are extremely negative. The reviewers offer their own particular reasons for paning the movie. However, as my girlfriend pointed out, the REAL reason apears to be, as one reviwer put it, that it is politically incorrect !
And it is. Indeed! The film's very comic appeal is its very political incorrectness! Imagine! A very black fat woman contrasted with a slim light skinned mulato woman, both vying for the same man. A racist Chinese restaurant owner who speaks with the most stereotyped Chinese accent I have ever heard, and who doesn't like blacks or Jews but who feels constrained to deal with them because "What can I do? Jew and black both like Chinese food!" An effeminate aerobic instructor who cuckolds the protagonist of the film. Two black pimps who turn out to be kind hearted rescuers.
Norbit is the story of a young black man who is a nerd and who is dominated and mistreated by his wife [also played by Eddie Murphy] and her three criminal brothers. As a baby, Norbit is abandoned by his parents outside an orphanage run by Mr Wong, the Chinese character also played by Eddie Murphy. Norbit grows into a young boy at the orphanage. He meets and befriends a young orphan girl named Kate. Their relationship blossoms into puppy love but shortly thereafter Kate is adopted and she and Norbit lose touch.
Norbit becomes a nerdy teenager who one day is being picked on by two teen bullies and is rescued by the overweight girl, Rasputia, who forces him to become her boyfriend, and later on, her husband.
Rasputia is every man's worst nighmare. A grossly large, fat, obnoxious, dominating and abusive female who bullies her way wherever she is in the world. Most people reading this have probably seen the trailer - but do not be deceived. Not all the funny parts are shown in the "coming attractions". Two or three maybe, but the movie is an ongoing laugh delight in scene after scene.
Without revealing too much of the story, I'll just tell you that Kate returns to the town in order to buy the orphanage-restaurant because Mr. Wong wishes to retire. She and Norbit reunite as friends and Norbit offers to help her buy the orphanage before Rasputia and her brothers can buy it and turn it into a sex club.
One word about the major objection that reviewers seem to have, namely, the depiction of the Rasputia character as a grossly overweight, loud, obnoxious, black female with no redeeming qualities. My girlfriend remarks that Eddie Murphy must have hit the nail on the head in his creation and depiction of Rasputia because this depiction has called down the wrath of politically correct liberal reviewers. She says, "Eddie Murphy must have seen every episode of the Maury Povich and Jerry Springer Shows". Rasputia is every black woman on those shows with no self respect and a willingness to flaunt her belligerent offensiveness.
If you love a great laugh and are not easily offended by racist and sexist stereotypical humor, go see Norbit. It's worth every cotton picking dollar.
Brooklyn,NY February 13, 2007
Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Murphy .... Norbit/Rasputia/Mr. Wong
Thandie Newton .... Kate
Terry Crews .... Big Jack
Clifton Powell .... Earl
Mighty Rasta .... Blue (as Lester "Rasta" Speight)
Cuba Gooding Jr. .... Deion Hughes
Eddie Griffin .... Pope Sweet Jesus
Katt Williams .... Lord Have Mercy
Floyd Levine .... Abe the Tailor
Anthony Russell .... Giovanni
Pat Crawford Brown .... Mrs. Henderson
Jeanette Miller .... Mrs. Coleman
Michael Colyar .... Morris the Barber
Marlon Wayans .... Buster
Alexis Rhee .... Mrs. Ling Ling Wong
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, some nudity and language. (edited for re-rating)
Runtime: USA:102 min
Sound Mix: DTS / Dolby Digital / SDDS