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Bringing Down the House Details


A man looking for a woman just like himself ends up with someone quite different in this farcical comedy. Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a lawyer who is having trouble getting his life back on track after his wife, Kate (Jean Smart), divorces him; he's also adjusting to his new status as a single father. Looking for companionship, Peter tries an internet dating site and virtually meets "lawyer-girl," an attractive and single fellow attorney. Peter makes a date with her, but the woman who arrives at his door turns out to be Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah), who not only isn't a lawyer, she turns out to be an escaped convict. Charlene is also a brash and brassy African-American, while Peter is perhaps the most tightly wound white guy in L.A. Charlene explains to Peter that she's strung him along because she's innocent of the crime for which she was convicted, and she needs a top-notch attorney to help prove her case. Peter isn't the least bit interested at first, but Charlene isn't the sort of woman to take "no" for an answer, and in time she wears him down and agrees to help. As Charlene moves into Peter's home, she helps him to loosen up and unleash his inner groove, which quite surprises Kate, and her down-to-earth advice comes in handy for Peter's son and daughter. But Charlene may end up going too far when Peter is asked to entertain Mrs. Arness (Joan Plowright), a wealthy woman looking for a new law firm. Bringing Down the House also features Eugene Levy as Howie, one of Peter's friends who takes a keen interest in Charlene, and Betty White as one of Peter's neighbors. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:March 7, 2003


Awarded by
NAACP Image Awards Queen Latifah Best Actress 2003 Winner


Steve Martin
as Peter Sanderson
Queen Latifah
as Charlene Morton
Eugene Levy
as Howie Rosenthal
Joan Plowright
as Mrs. Arness
Jean Smart
as Kate
Missi Pyle
as Ashley
Kimberly J. Brown
as Sarah Sanderson
Steve Harris
as Widow
Angus T. Jones
as Georgey Sanderson
Michael Rosenbaum
as Todd Gendler
Betty White
as Mrs. Kline
Michael Ensign
as Daniel Barnes
Matt Lutz
as Aaron Blair
Victor Webster
as Glen
Alonzo Bodden
as Bear
Sundy Carter
as Flygirl
Aengus James
as Mike
Tracey Cherelle Jones
as Sofia
Aengus James
as Mike
Alonzo Bodden
as Bear
Victor Webster
as Glen
Matt Lutz
as Aaron Blair
Sundy Carter
as Flygirl
Michael Ensign
as Daniel Barnes


Adam Shankman
Ashok Amritraj
David Hoberman
Jason Filardi
Julio Macat
Michael McQuarn
Musical Direction/Supervision
Lalo Schifrin
Composer (Music Score)
Jerry Greenberg
Linda de Scenna
Production Designer
Jim Nedza
Art Director
Todd Lieberman
Cookie Carosella
Associate Producer
Queen Latifah
Executive Producer
Jane Bartelme
Executive Producer
Richard Romig
Set Designer
Nancy Deren
Set Designer
Ric Mcelvin
Set Designer
Pamela Withers Chilton
Costume Designer
David MacMillan
Sound/Sound Designer
Daniel Silverberg
First Assistant Director
Anne Fletcher
Victoria Thomas
Johnny E. Jensen
Additional Cinematography
John Medlen
Second Unit Director