Big Momma's House

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Big Momma's House
A fat woman in a red dress, carrying a big brown bag, and scratching her ass
Directed byRaja Gosnell
Produced byDavid T. Friendly
Michael Green
Screenplay byDarryl Quarles
Don Rhymer
Story byDarryl Quarles
StarringMartin Lawrence
Music byRichard Gibbs
CinematographyMichael D. O'Shea
Editing byBruce Green
Kent Beyda
StudioRegency Enterprises
Runteldat Entertainment
Friendly Productions
Taurus Films
Nina Saxon Film Design
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • June 2, 2000 (2000-06-02)
Running time98 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$30 million
Box office$173,959,438
 
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Big Momma's House
A fat woman in a red dress, carrying a big brown bag, and scratching her ass
Directed byRaja Gosnell
Produced byDavid T. Friendly
Michael Green
Screenplay byDarryl Quarles
Don Rhymer
Story byDarryl Quarles
StarringMartin Lawrence
Music byRichard Gibbs
CinematographyMichael D. O'Shea
Editing byBruce Green
Kent Beyda
StudioRegency Enterprises
Runteldat Entertainment
Friendly Productions
Taurus Films
Nina Saxon Film Design
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • June 2, 2000 (2000-06-02)
Running time98 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$30 million
Box office$173,959,438

Big Momma's House is a 2000 American crime comedy film directed by Raja Gosnell, written by Darryl Quarles and Don Rhymer, and starring Martin Lawrence as FBI agent Malcolm Turner.[1] The majority of the film took place in Cartersville, Georgia, but the film was shot on location in California. The prime shooting spots were Los Angeles and Orange County. The film is also notable for being one of very few titles to be released on the EVD video format.

Contents

Plot

The film begins in an illegal underground dog-fighting arena in Korea, where an FBI agent named John Maxwell (Paul Giamatti) has been identified. John is ordered to be killed by a Korean boss, but is eventually rescued by his undercover partner and master of disguise, Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence). Suddenly, FBI agents storm around the arena. Meanwhile, a criminal named Lester Vesco (Terrence Howard), who was originally serving a life sentence in prison for murder and armed robbery, escapes from his cell by killing the doctor and stealing his car. The FBI assigns Malcolm and John to capture Lester, and sends them to a small-town Cartersville, Georgia to stake out the house of a fat, elderly African American woman named Hattie Mae Pierce (Ella Mitchell, whom her friends call her "Big Momma"), the estranged Southern grandmother of Lester's ex-girlfriend, Sherry Pierce (Nia Long), who supposedly aided Lester in his original bank robbery by giving him the key to the vault. After Big Momma unexpectedly leaves town to help her ill friend within a couple of weeks, Malcolm and John sneak into her house to plant security cameras and tap the phones. Sherry calls Big Momma's house, and Malcolm disguises his voice as Big Momma in order to lure Sherry and possibly obtain a confession. The plan works, and Malcolm and John work together on a Big Momma disguise costume before Sherry's arrival the next day.

Sherry arrives at Big Momma's house along with her 10-year-old autistic son, Trent (Jascha Washington) the next day, but Malcolm's inexperience with cooking and strange behavior prompt Sherry to believe that Big Momma might have gone senile. Malcolm also has to deal with Big Momma's lecherous boyfriend, Ben Rawley (Carl Wright), act as midwife for Ritha Nolan (Tichina Arnold), who has gone into labor, and attend self-defense classes under Ritha's older brother and dim-witted security guard, Terry (Anthony Anderson), whom Malcolm handily defeats and humiliates in front of all the other old women. After Malcolm almost damages the suit during the night, he attempt to sneak back to the safe house where he and John are staying to capture Lester, but Sherry captures him on the porch, and Malcolm poses as a "handyman" after just barely hiding the suit in a bush. Malcolm and John repair the suit, and when Malcolm leaves town with Sherry, John searches the safe house for any trace of the money Lester had stolen from the bank, but to no avail. Malcolm also bonds with Trent when he defends him against the two older guys who bullied Trent and kicked him off the court so they could play. Malcolm and Trent eventually beat the boys at basketball, amazing Nolan and Trent. Malcolm also begins to bond with Sherry and Trent, accompanying them on a fishing trip. After Malcolm returns to the safe house with John that evening, Nolan bursts in and attempt to arrest Malcolm and John for dismembering Big Momma. Malcolm and John identify themselves and reluctantly recruit Nolan to help them out, promising Nolan that Malcolm and John will recommend him for a place in the FBI if he succeeds.

Malcolm, Sherry, and Trent go to mass, where the Reverend (Cedric the Entertainer) calls on Malcolm to give his testimonial. Malcolm, while posing as Big Momma, attempt to influence Sherry and Trent by giving them his testimony about the importance of not keeping secrets. While Malcolm, Sherry, and Trent return to Big Momma's house after mass, Malcolm pulls a gun on Big Momma's surprise birthday party. During the party that evening, the real Big Momma returns early, and John attempt to stall her. Meanwhile, Malcolm accidentally stumbles across the stolen money hidden in Trent's footlocker. Sherry sees this, and tells Malcolm the real story: Lester had merely been playing her for a fool the whole time. Lester wooed Sherry, stole her keys, and got into the vault during the robbery, and Sherry did not tell anyone about her stolen keys out of fear of getting fired. Malcolm goes off to call for his real name to come help them out. In the bathroom, John quietly tells Nolan that the real Big Momma is back, and Nolan accidentally locks Malcolm out of the house to think that he is the real Big Momma. Meanwhile, Lester arrives into Big Momma's house through the window, having successfully tracked Sherry, Trent, and the money, and attempt to take Sherry and Trent out of the house with him, but after Sherry pleads to Lester to say goodbye to the real Big Momma, Nolan spots Lester's gun and intends to arrest him, but accidentally unloads his own gun. Before Lester can kill Nolan, Malcolm breaks through the window to fight Lester, causing confusion among the partygoers as they all see two Big Mommas. In the ensuing struggle, Lester shot John in his right shoulder and ends up ripping Malcolm's mask during a fistfight, revealing Malcolm's real identity. Nonetheless, Malcolm eventually subdues Lester and knocks him out of the window. Sherry and Trent are heartbroken to realize that Malcolm was just an FBI agent the whole time, and they refuse to speak to him, even when police arrested Lester and paramedics takes John to the hospital for a gunshot wounded in his right arm.

Sometime later, Malcolm goes to mass on Sunday morning to testify Sherry, Trent, and Big Momma. Malcolm delivers his confession and heartfelt speech to Sherry and Trent and admits that he genuinely loves them. Big Momma eventually forgives Malcolm with a big, strong hug, and the crowd cheers as Malcolm and Sherry kiss each other. The film ends when Malcolm and Sherry invite Trent over for a group hug and the crowd celebrates as Big Momma sings "Oh Happy Day" during the closing credits.

Cast

Reception

Critical response

Big Momma's House received generally mixed to negative reviews at the time of its release. It has a rating of 30% at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 81 reviews, and a "Cream of the Crop" Rating of 33% based on 26 reviews. The critical consensus was that "Big Momma's House is funny in some parts, but it is essentially a one-joke movie."[2] Metacritic gives the film a score of 33% based on reviews from 27 critics, indicating "generally negative reviews".[3]

Box office

The film was released on 2 June 2000, and was a surprise hit as it opened as the number two movie in North America, and almost overtook Mission: Impossible II for the top spot that weekend. Big Momma's House went on to gross over $117 millions at the US box office, and with a worldwide total just under $174 million.[4]

Content

The film is intended for more mature audiences despite its PG-13 rating due to the heavy profanity, comic violence, and mild sexual content, but the subsequent films in the series Big Momma's House 2 and Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, are more family-friendly and lighter in tone.

Music

A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on May 30, 2000 by So So Def Records. The film's theme song was "Bounce with Me" by Lil Bow Wow. The soundtrack was also a moderate success and has been certified gold since its release. Other than Lil Bow Wow, the soundtrack featured artists such as Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat. It peaked at 41 on the Billboard 200 and 12 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and spawned two hit singles, "Bounce with Me" and "I've Got to Have It".

The soundtrack has gained a cult following amongst fans of hip hop music as well as the film series.

Until Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, this was the only Big Momma film to have an official soundtrack. Though the third film only spawned one single which is "Do It Big" by T-Pain, Brandon T. Jackson, and One Chance.

Sequels

Big Momma's House has spawned 2 sequels: Big Momma's House 2 (2006) and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (2011).

Home media

The film is one of very few titles to be released on EVD as well as DVD.

References

External links