A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film has many sexual references, a torrent of profanity, nasty insults (including fat jokes and racial epithets), and a misguided obsession with flatulence. The anally-fixated script, which is packed with smutty double entendres and jokes about "colon cleansing," may delight twelve-year-old boys, but parents may well be horrified that this is what now passes for family entertainment in Hollywood.
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What's the story?
Eddie Murphy plays seven roles in this remake of Jerry Lewis' 1963 comedy. Portly professor Sherman Klump (Murphy) falls for grad student Carla (Jada Pinkett), but he's too shy and self-conscious about his weight to make a move. When Klump invents a weight-loss potion and tests it on himself, he's transformed from a sweet, overweight guy into attractive, incredibly arrogant womanizer Buddy Love. Buddy tries to seduce Carla, and the inner Sherman eventually tries to conquer his horrible alter ego and return to his normal, goodnatured self.
Is it any good?
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR is a relentlessly tasteless star vehicle for Eddie Murphy, designed to let him show off his comic virtuosity. While his performances (and the Oscar-winning make-up effects) are technically impressive, the numerous scenes showing him portraying every member of his family at the dinner table are protracted and bring the plot to a dead stop.
The movie's major problem, however, is its torrent of profanity, nasty insults (including fat jokes and racial epithets), and its misguided obsession with flatulence. The anally-fixated script may delight twelve-year-old boys, but parents may well be horrified that this is what now passes for family entertainment in Hollywood. The sappy ending when Sherman says, "Life is not about how much you weigh, but being happy with yourself" is nothing more than a phony attempt at pathos to make up for the previous ninety minutes of raunchiness.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: January 2, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: January 2, 2002
- Cast: Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith
- Director: Tom Shadyac
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude humor and sexual references
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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