Big Momma's House

Bomb Rating: 

The only thing that's holding Martin Lawrence back as he tries to be convincing as a fat, sixty-year-old woman, is the fact that he's been trying to convince people for years that he's really a comedian. In reality, he's not even convinced anyone he's sane (didn't he run into a L.A. boulevard naked waving a pistol or something not too long ago?).

The sort of stupidity that goes into making a movie like "Big Momma's House" is unfathomable. Lawrence plays Malcolm, an FBI agent. He and his partner, John (Paul Giamatti), figure that a bad guy will track his former girlfriend, Sherry (Nia Long), to Big Momma's House. While Malcolm and John watch the place, Big Momma leaves and Lawrence assumes her identity.

This means that the filmmakers assume that Lawrence in a rubber mask will so closely resemble the elderly woman that none of her close friends and family will know the difference. Sherry doesn't know the difference because she hasn't seen Big Momma in awhile and hell, don't those fat black people all look alike anyway? You can't tell me there isn't a seriously denigrating stereotype about black people at work here, which probably made the pitch to the studio pretty easy, as the only time those executives seem capable of telling one black person from another is when something in their office goes missing.

Perhaps a plus for this movie is that whenever anything moderately nonsensical happens, director Raja Gosnell just glosses over it. Lawrence nearly gets caught without makeup on in bed at one point, only to wake up the next day fully made up. Then there are the scenes where Malcolm is spending time with Sherry and her son. Anybody curious where the real Big Momma went during that time? And then there's Paul Giamatti, whose only function in the film is to sit in the window of the house across the street and say "now what's he doing?" about every ten minutes. I have to admit, I wondered the same thing.

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