Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son Movie Poster Image
Gimmicky comedy is an unoriginal drag for young teens.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 19 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Ultimately the movie has some positive messages about why parents should encourage their kids' talent, why college is important (even if you have a dream career you could pursue right after high school), and about just being yourself on a date, not what you assume the other person wants. But the movie also perpetuates several gender stereotypes about high-school girls -- like that they're all obsessed with their weight,  boyfriends, and shopping, and that they all like to prance around in skimpy lingerie in front of each other.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Malcolm is a good role model, for once, to his stepson Trent. He genuinely wants what's best for Trent and wants him to go to college instead of trying to become a rapper. As Big Momma, he also convinces the girls to get rid of boyfriends who don't treat them well, to tell the truth, and to not starve themselves.


A crime lord shoots an informant twice with a handgun -- once from a distance, the other at close range -- but the camera focuses on a witness and not the killing itself. Gun-carrying goons chase after Malcolm and Trent and hold a couple of people hostage. Only one person is killed. A girl slaps a guy in the face.


Two high-schoolers go on a date, hold hands, and kiss a couple of times. The teen girls at the boarding school have a late-night party where they parade around in short pajamas, trying on clothes and waving lingerie around. In one scene, a girl briefly strips down to her bra and underwear to try on a dress, and she gets as far as unhooking her bra. A guy makes the age-old "something came up" joke and vaguely covers up his crotch area, but it's done so quickly that it's not clear whether he does or doesn't have an erection.


Standard fare for a PG-13 comedy, with "ass" and "s--t" being the main offenders. Also, lots and lots of "damn" (or, more precisely, "DAYUM!"), plus "hell" and "oh my God."


Overt product placements include Mac (particularly the MacBook Pro laptop), Mercedes, and Toyota Sequoia. Duke University gets a big plug as well.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the third installment in the Big Momma franchise is less obnoxious than the second, Big Momma's House 2, and considerably tamer in terms of over-the-top, crude jokes. That said, there's still a good bit of sexual innuendo (although it's usually expressed by a teenager's wide-eyed exclamation of "damn!") and language (mostly "ass" and "s--t"). Big Momma is a positive influence on the girls she's in charge of and tries to encourage them to ditch bad boyfriends, eat in a healthy manner, and tell the truth. Still, this isn't exactly a message movie, and most of the comedy is broad and lowbrow.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGarry W. April 16, 2018

How could David Lynch make such a bad film?

The acting isn't good, but that's a given - a style trademark of Lynch. It doesn't really feature any of his directional trademarks, though? It... Continue reading
Adult Written byjoshua martinez July 19, 2011

13 and up.

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son is an average movie good for young teens and parents you need to know that Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son has some mild vio... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLiviLux01 April 10, 2015

Not as good as the others

Me and my friend went to see this and was really disappointed! The whole plot was unoriginal and definitely not as funny as the 1st or 2nd Big Momma's Hous... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCooltiger37 August 23, 2018

Dumb (but tween-friendly) sequel changes little in unrated version

For all you parents out there worrying about what's in the unrated version of this movie, let me just say this: THERE IS VIRTUALLY NO DIFFERENCE!! The only... Continue reading

What's the story?

FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) is having a good day -- his stepson Trent (Brandon T. Jackson) receives an acceptance letter to Duke University, and Canetti (Max Casella), his informant on an important case, is about to wear a wire at a meeting with a crime lord. But things take a wrong turn when Trent shows up at the scene and witnesses Russian mob boss Chirkoff (Tony Curran) kill Canetti. Turner decides to disguise himself once more as Big Momma -- with Trent as his grand-niece, Charmaine -- in order to attend an all-girls school for the performing arts, where Canetti stashed a flash drive containing incriminating evidence against Chirkoff. While undercover, Trent falls for Haley (Jessica Lucas), a beautiful aspiring singer, and Big Momma charms the supersized-woman-loving school security guard (Faizon Love), who may know where the flash drive is hidden.

Is it any good?

There are fewer crude jokes in this threequel, which is obviously aimed at young teens, than there were in Big Momma's House 2; that's the good news. Plus, there are a couple of Glee-meets-Fame moments in which Jackson and the girls break into spontaneous song (and dance). But aside from a silly little scene in which Jackson and Lawrence do a little dance routine to a Temptations song, even the performances fall flat. This is a most unnecessary movie.

It's disappointing, because Jackson -- who's made a living playing the comic-relief in Tropic Thunder, Percy Jackson, The Lottery Ticket, and more -- is a pretty talented young actor, but he needs to show he can do something clever, not this lowbrow comedy. He should be trying to stretch himself, like Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, or even Marlon Wayans (in Requiem for a Dream) did earlier in their careers. Cross-dressing is a tried and true movie staple in comedies, and when it works, it can be amazing (Some Like It Hot, The Birdcage, Mrs. Doubtfire). Unfortunately, this particular series is just a drag.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why cross-dressing comedies are popular. Why are there so many more drag comedies with men dressed up as women instead of the reverse?

  • How does this movie portray teenage girls? Is it that common for girls to have eating disorders and throw lingerie-flaunting pajama parties? What do you think about Trent's comment about shopping being for girls what sports is for guys?

  • What does cross-dressing teach Trent about girls? Does it help him treat girls better?

  • What's the lesson about going to college versus skipping it to pursue your dreams?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

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