Norbit
The tree has a better shot at getting an Oscar. So does the boat.

Theatrical Release Date: 02/09/2007
Director: Brian Robbins
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The following review is exactly why I don’t ever want to hear someone say that I don’t care about my loyal readers. It’s because of the responsibility I have for all of you (and something very wrong in my DNA) that I decided to watch “Norbit” even though I could just feel the need to pound myself in the head with hammers when I saw the trailers, let alone in the first few minutes of the movie.

Actually, have I ever mentioned that I think that sometime right before “A Vampire in Brooklyn”, Eddie Murphy was abducted by aliens or secreted away by the Federal Witness Protection Program and the world has since be saddled with some lame impostor? No? Well, I should have.

Moving on to his latest failure, Norbit (Eddie Murphy) is a nerdy orphan whose childhood sweetheart is adopted and moves away. Of course, before they meet again as grown adults, he’s bullied into marriage by a very large woman (what else could have happened?). Stupidity ensues.

In “Norbit”, Eddie plays not only the title character but also his wife and a number of other roles, which seems to be Eddie’s motis operandi ever since “Coming to America” (the good example of this). I don’t mind that he does that … I just wish he’d make a good film while in the process.

For years, his brand of humor has defaulted to the easiest of jokes and the lowest common denominator approach. Like with “The Nutty Professor” franchise (why, Lord, why was there more than one?), in “Norbit” the base of the jokes is making fun of fat people.

However, Eddie didn’t stop there. Instead of just making a bad movie about the “hilarity” of a fat woman dominating a pitiful dweeb, he also decided his character would have some kind of speech impediment which just rubbed me the wrong way (like the rest of the film).

Now, I’m all for offensive humor … when it’s funny. “Norbit” just comes across as one bland, tasteless joke after another. I’m sure not if this comes as a shock to you, which is why I’d like to think no one reading this was dumb enough (or lost a bet) and saw this film in the first place.

Sadly, the unfunny and boring nature of the film isn’t the worst part. I’m tired of seeing other actors drag themselves down with Eddie in his run to make the worst comedies of the 21st century.

I can’t say I’m terribly surprised by Cuba Gooding, Jr. being involved. Ever since winning his Academy Award, it’s been “Boat Trip” and “Pearl Harbor” and “Daddy Day Camp”. I don’t know what his agent does for a living but I’m pretty sure a decapitated penguin could have done a better job managing his career. Also, while I love “Undercover Brother”, I don’t think Eddie Griffin is particularly choosy. So his inclusion is also less than a shock.

However, Thandie Newton is another story. While her involvement in the terrible “The Truth About Charlie” should never be forgotten, I’d like to think she’s smart enough to say no to a project like this since she’d be better off spending her time collecting diseased kidneys for starving pedophiles. Apparently, I’m an idiot too though and shouldn’t give so many people the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, in regards to the elements of the “film” in particular, I can sum it up quite simply: This movie is shit. I really want someone in Hollywood to just say no to Eddie the next time he has a fantastic movie idea and write me a check for the projected production costs instead.

So, shock of shocks, I’m giving “Norbit” a 0 out of 5. I could see that Eddie and the rest of the responsible parties tried to make something ridiculous and sweet but the world Eddie creates in the movie is like some terrible “Mad TV” skit gone even more wrong than they normally do. Go ahead and pat yourselves on the back for not seeing this and if you must spend the money you saved, buy yourselves an enema … you’ll find far more enjoyment.