Who's in It:
Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Eddie Griffin, Cuba Gooding Jr.
The Basics: Man in fat-lady drag yells at people, destroys stuff.
What's the Deal? Last year, in the line of movie-criticizing duty, I had to see Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. I dreaded going. I knew I was in for a piece of crap. And then, to my surprise, I laughed myself hoarse. I was also one of maybe two other film reviewers in the country who found something to enjoy in it. I had no good explanation for laughing. I knew it was trash. But I couldn't stop myself. So when I started laughing at the TV spots for Norbit, and my friends would look at me like I was crazy, I would tell them about my LTCG:HI experience as an example of how sometimes you just laugh no matter how dumb it all is. Secretly, I was kind of excited about seeing Norbit. Murphy was funny as different characters in the Nutty Professor series, so why would this be any different? Maybe this was going to be my guilty pleasure movie of 2007. Well, it didn't turn out that way at all. In fact, I can report back to you that this does, indeed, suck it.
When It's Almost, Sort-Of Funny: When Murphy demolishes sets as Rasputia, the hugely obese cruelty machine Norbit's trapped into marrying. But even then, Rasputia is only funny when she's mimicking the most grotesque brand of stereotypes. Most of the time, she's just screaming and running around in hot pink outfits.
What Else is Good: The makeup. And Griffin is kind of funny as the town pimp.
Career Interventions Necessary For: Gooding Jr., who seems to have no ability to choose a script at all, and the really talented Newton, who's slumming here. I want to know where that check's going. Because if she just bought an expensive car or a second house, then she needs to give back the money.