Big Momma's House

"Bad"

Big Momma's House Review


There are two jokes in "Big Momma's House," Martin Lawrence's flimsy stab at "Mrs. Doubtfire"-style costume comedy:

1) Lawrence made up in a wig and a fat lady rubber suit.

2) Lawrence made up in a wig and a fat lady rubber suit, staring lustfully at Nia Long's backside and shrieking "Damn!" in a bad falsetto.

If 95 minutes of those two gags over and over is your idea of a knee-slapping good time, don't let me stop you from seeing the movie. Go. Have fun.

But anyone expecting more than such stale, underwhelming hilarity isn't likely to be impressed with the bone-headed guffaws and the tent pole plot that has Lawrence playing an FBI agent who has gone undercover as a Southern granny to catch a dangerous escaped bank robber (Terence Howard).

The real Big Momma (Ella Mitchell) has been called away on some unexplained family emergency just before her sweet 'n' sexy granddaughter (Long) -- the bank robber's ex -- comes to hide out after hearing her former beau is on the lam. Agent Lawrence thinks she was in on the heist and plans to snag the her, the robber and the still-missing loot in one fell swoop.

Of course, he develops a jones for the girl and finds a way to romance her -- sans disguise -- by buddying up to her 8-year-old son. What a guy.

Editor-turned-director Raja Gosnell makes no attempt to develop characters, patch hemorrhaging plot holes or explain why no one wonders where Big Momma goes whenever Lawrence shows up as himself. He's too busy setting up the next cheap sketch set piece:

Martin Lawrence in a fat lady rubber suit kicking butt at a self-defense class! Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit kicking butt in a pick-up game of basketball! Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit belting out church spirituals! Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit fending off randy old men! Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit having to deliver a baby! Martin Lawrence duck-taping his face when the fat lady suit busts a seam!

And inevitably, Martin Lawrence in a fat lady suit coming face to face with the real Big Momma and the bank robber at the same time.

The saddest thing about "Big Momma's House" is that it wastes a talented cast in roles that force them to act like idiots in order for the plot to advance.

Nia Long has proven herself confident, skilled and very appealing in half a dozen movies over the last few years (e.g. "The Best Man," "lovejones," "Soul Food"), yet she continues to take roles as pliant girlfriends who bring about happy endings by forgiving their boyfriends for being liars and cheats. Just two weeks ago she did it in "Held Up," and now this. Oh, you're not really my grandma? How deceptive of you! I hate you! Come back in five minutes, look regretful and I'll give you a kiss.

Bull frog-faced character actor Paul Giamatti steals a few scenes with his corrosive wit as Lawrence's fed up partner. But this is not one of his definitive performance, like when he played Pig Vomit the flabbergasted radio producer in "Private Parts."

As for the highly capable Lawrence, he needs to stop making these forgettable -- and progressively more dreadful -- gimmick movies before he winds up degrading himself in a string of moronic father (then grandfather) figure supporting parts in even lower genre comedies like "Booty Call."

The only quality laugh in "Big Momma's House" comes in the opening scene, in which a frail old man starts kung-fu kicking the crap out some young Asian mobster punks. One of them grabs the geezer by what's left of his hair, then his face splits open and out pops Lawrence, sporting his best "you so crazy" grin.

It's a much more entertaining unmasking than any of the similar scenes in last week's feeble "Mission: Impossible" sequel. But the rest of "Big Momma" is all downhill from there.



Big Momma's House

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd June 2000

Box Office USA: $0.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $174M

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Regency Enterprises

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 57

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Malcolm Turner, as Sherry Pierce, as John, Jascha Washington as Trent Pierce, as Lester Vesco, as Twila

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.