A meek and lovable milquetoast married to an overbearing, overweight tyrant finds his life turned upside down when he meets the woman of his dreams in this romantic comedy starring Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Eddie Griffin. His entire life, Norbit (Murphy) has been picked on and put down, and after being bullied into marrying the most obnoxious woman in town (also Murphy) it appears as if that’s the way things will remain until the day he dies. Upon meeting the one woman who seems to accept him for who he is, Norbit is instilled with a newfound sense of hope for the future. In order to find true happiness, however, Norbit will first have to gather the courage to stand up to his monstrous spouse once and for all.
Eddie Murphy missed the boat. What could have been a legitimately funny movie about Norbit and his way-overweight spouse, Rasputia, ended up as a profanity-laden film which included cheating by both spouses. At one point in the movie, Deion Hughes (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sharing vows with his wife-to-be, Kate (Thandie Newton), whom he is marrying for her money, when interruptions of the ceremony abound. In frustration the minister (Richard Gant), let’s out a “For Chr*st’s sake,” in church. A man sitting, watching the ceremony, opens his bottle and begins to suck down some alcohol. The language was much stronger than I anticipated. There is also total rear male nudity in the film, and a Biblical reference about “turning the other cheek.”
The film does have some funny moments, as watching the huge Rasputia try to get in cars and slide down a waterslide is quite comical. One joke about blacks and Jews may upset some people although mostly everyone at the screening I attended took it good naturedly and laughed. As for being a family film, the cheating of the main couple in the film, along with many sexual innuendos, in addition to the very strong language, prevents this one from being Dove approved. We hope that the filmmakers eventually realize that taking the Lord’s name in vain in church, or anywhere, is not what much of our mainstream audience desires to hear.