Norbit Movie Poster Image

Norbit

(i)

 

Another fat suit for Murphy, another bad movie.
  • Review Date: June 4, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Abusive, mean-spirited bullies; blatant racial stereotypes prey on Chinese and Italian characters, African-American pimps, an overbearing African-American woman, and an elderly Caucasian woman; characters cheat, lie, and commit adultery; plenty of fart jokes and "gross-out" eating jokes.

Violence

Repeated hard hits, falls, throws; father dumps swaddled baby from car; threat to kick teeth out; at fairground, kids are thrown through air and land hard; Rasputia hits a pug dog with her car and breaks its legs (it appears in casts later); Rasputia frequently abuses Norbit (knocking him out at one point); harpoon-throwing; aggressive slapping; hard falls off bicycle; climactic fight features many whomps and hits with implements.

Sex

Nonstop sexually themed jokes and innuendo. Frequent gags about Rasputia's sexual appetites and body (breasts set off car horn, cleavage is visible, bikini shows lots of skin, shots of nipples through clothes, she washes car in slow motion); pimps evaluate/disparage women and talk about "johns" and "bitches" one sexual scene shows a woman dressed as a chained slave and a man dressed as Abraham Lincoln; sexualized dance moves; sex game features "squealing like a pig" joke about adulterer's erection; sexual allusions like "tap ya" and "power tap" several references to "titties" and "strip joint"/"titty bar" (to be called "Nippolopolous"); visual bikini wax joke (violent and sexual); joke about trying to "nail" a girl; romantic kisses between Norbit and Kate.

Language

Lots of name-calling ("stupid," "ugly," "gorilla," "bastard," "screwy"); many uses of words like "ass," hell," "s--t," and "damn" (and more than 20 uses of "bitch"); sexual slang ("ho," "whore," "skank"); jokes about not liking "black people" or "Jews."

Consumerism

Reference to Mentos; pimps drive Cadillac.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Beer and wine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids who liked Murphy's Nutty Professor movies may very well want to see this one, too, despite the fact that it's rife with raunchy humor and stereotypes. Most of this centers on the large body of Murphy's female character, Rasputia, and includes wide-angle shots of her flesh (looking menacing and grotesque) and jokes about her appetites for sex and food. Rasputia is also cruel, which means that many jokes feature her physically abusing Norbit. Sexual allusions are swift, crude, and frequent. Violence is cartoonish and loud (bodies fall, fly through the air, and hit each other). Language is relatively mild but incessant -- primarily "damn," "hell," "ass," and "bitch."

What's the story?

Nerdy, well-meaning Norbit (played by Eddie Murphy as an adult) grows up at an orphanage run by Mr. Wong. At age 5, Norbit's best buddy is Kate, but when she's adopted, they lose track of each another. He's soon approached by a large girl named Rasputia, who beats up the kids who pick on him and expects utter subservience and loyalty in return. Norbit agrees to her terms, going so far as to marry her when he comes of age. Their marriage is rendered in a few horrific montages and short scenes, focused mainly on how Rasputia overwhelms Norbit in bed. Her dominance is bolstered by her big brothers -- Big Jack (Terry Crews), Earl (Clifton Powell), and Blue (Mighty Rasta) -- all of whom are aggressive and menacing, not to mention greedy. When Norbit discovers that Rasputia is cheating on him with her aerobics instructor (Marlon Wayans), he finds solace with Kate (Thandie Newton), who's returned to town to take over the orphanage.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The plot of director Brian Robbins's comedy matters little, except that it serves as an excuse for racist, misogynist, and other stereotypes. Of course, there's Rasputia. Mr. Wong (also played by Murphy) is another egregious stereotype, "Chinese" pronunciation jokes abound. Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams portray pimps, still more stereotypes to laugh at.

Norbit finally realizes he's in love with Kate and gets up enough nerve to leave his wife, despite her physical abuse. This passes for resolution and is underlined when Rasputia suffers some awful mistreatment, primarily at the hands of Mr. Wong, who inexplicably practices whale-harpooning and so gets to yell out, "Whale, ho!" as he assaults her. Bottom line? This is a pointless exercise in gross-out humor that will probably offend just about everyone.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of gross-out humor. Where do you draw the line between silly and offensive? Is it funny to see actors dress in drag and/or bury themselves in fat suits? Why? Rasputia is a strong, powerful woman -- but she's also cruel, self-indulgent, and constantly the butt of jokes for her voracious appetites. As a consequence, what messages does the movie send about body image and gender roles? Why do you think Eddie Murphy is drawn to make movies like this?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 8, 2007
DVD release date:June 5, 2007
Cast:Eddie Murphy, Terry Crews, Thandie Newton
Director:Brian Robbins
Studio:DreamWorks
Genre:Comedy
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:crude and sexual humor, some nudity and language.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byConverge July 22, 2011

NOT APPROPRIATE

Look here, this movie was way, way, way! to sexual, and plus, i had to turn it off and tell my kids they couldn't watch it, and that was under thirty minutes. This movie is OK for vulgar minded people, but not a family film.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byPlague March 15, 2010

Norbit

I'm not a big Eddy Murphy fan, but this movie cracked me up from beginning to end.
Teen, 17 years old Written byTheTrillonaire July 6, 2013

Iffy for 12+

This movie is too funny. Even my Grandma loves this movie. Better than Nutty Professor
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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