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Director:Brian Robbins
Cast:Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Eddie Griffin, Terry Crews, Cuba Gooding jr.
Release Date:2007

By Al Shipley | Posted 2/14/2007

Eddie Murphy reaches a new low every other time he makes a movie, so the only surprise about Norbit is how quickly it comes on the heels of his Dreamgirls Oscar nod. Donning heavy makeup to play multiple characters of different genders and races has served Murphy well in the past, as in Coming to America and to a lesser extent in the massively overrated Nutty Professor flicks. But the appeal of that gag is stretched like spandex on a fat lady in Norbit, wherein he plays the title character (the same kind of bland nice guy with a speech impediment that Murphy played in Bowfinger), his adoptive father Mr. Wong (an incoherent Asian stereotype), and his wife, Rasputia (a mountainous fatsuit in an ugly dress). Black women of the large variety already bear the brunt of enough lowbrow comedy these days with actresses willing to portray themselves as grotesque punch lines, so do we really need assholes like Murphy and Martin Lawrence stepping in as scabs? Even if you're not offended by the Rasputia character on principle, the way she nonsensically parrots the phrase "how you doin'?" more than an entire season of Friends will make you nostalgic for the days when Vampire in Brooklyn was the lowest Murphy could go.

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