Norbit

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Norbit
A large woman on top of a small man
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrian Robbins
Produced byJohn Davis
Michael Tollin
Eddie Murphy
Screenplay byEddie Murphy
Charlie Murphy
Jay Scherick
David Ronn
Story byEddie Murphy
Charlie Murphy
StarringEddie Murphy
Thandie Newton
Terry Crews
Eddie Griffin
Katt Williams
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Marlon Wayans
Charlie Murphy
Music byDavid Newman
CinematographyJ. Clark Mathis
Editing byNed Bastille
StudioDavis Entertainment
Tollin/Robbins Productions
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures
Release date(s)
  • February 9, 2007 (2007-02-09)
Running time102 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$60 million
Box office$159,313,561
 
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Norbit
A large woman on top of a small man
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrian Robbins
Produced byJohn Davis
Michael Tollin
Eddie Murphy
Screenplay byEddie Murphy
Charlie Murphy
Jay Scherick
David Ronn
Story byEddie Murphy
Charlie Murphy
StarringEddie Murphy
Thandie Newton
Terry Crews
Eddie Griffin
Katt Williams
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Marlon Wayans
Charlie Murphy
Music byDavid Newman
CinematographyJ. Clark Mathis
Editing byNed Bastille
StudioDavis Entertainment
Tollin/Robbins Productions
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures
Release date(s)
  • February 9, 2007 (2007-02-09)
Running time102 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$60 million
Box office$159,313,561

Norbit is a 2007 American comedy film, directed by Brian Robbins. It stars Eddie Murphy and Thandie Newton. Produced by Davis Entertainment and Tollin/Robbins Productions, the film also stars Terry Crews, Clifton Powell, Lester "Rasta" Speight, Eddie Griffin, Katt Williams, Marlon Wayans, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. It was released by DreamWorks on February 9, 2007.

The movie received an Academy Award nomination for make-up,[1] although the film also received multiple "wins" at the 2007 Golden Raspberry Awards. Even though it was negatively received by critics, the movie was a commercial success.[citation needed]

Contents

Plot

Norbit Albert Rice (Eddie Murphy) opens the film by narrating that he is an orphan as he is thrown out of a car by his parents, in front of the Golden Wonton orphanage and cuisine. Mr. Wong (Murphy) finds him the next morning and takes him in, claiming that nobody will want "ugly black one". Norbit and his buddy partner, Kate Thomas (Thandie Newton) were the best of friends and even got 'married' as children in the orphanage but one day, they got separated when Kate got adopted. As there was an odd number at the orphanage, Norbit was alone for a while. A while after, whilst being bullied by twins in elementary school, Norbit is saved by Rasputia Latimore (Murphy), a fat, self-centered, overbearing, vain girl who takes an instant liking to Norbit and makes him her boyfriend. She protects him from other kids and makes him feel like he as a real family. As they both grow up, Rasputia becomes meaner, fatter and rougher, dominating every aspect of Norbit's life.

They eventually got married, in part due to the pressure from Rasputia's three coarse, muscular brothers Big Black Jack (Terry Crews), Blue (Lester "Rasta" Speight), and Earl (Clifton Powell), who the whole town live in fear of (except Mr Wong). Rasputia and her brothers run the local construction company where Norbit works as a book keeper. They also run a 'security' business which is popular with the local vendors. Throughout their life together, Rasputia mistreats, insults, and dominates Norbit to make sure that she keeps him all to herself, eventually starting to resent and cheat on him by having sex with her power tap dance instructor Buster Perkin (Marlon Wayans), who only goes along with it so her brothers can fund his workout tape.

Norbit is performing a puppet show for the kids at the orphanage which he lets all is anger out to Rasputia through the puppets, but then he sees Kate for the first time in years. Stunned by her, his affection for her returns. But then Norbit is disappointed to find out that Kate's now engaged to Deion Hughes (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), a sneaky, slick-talking businessman. Eventually, with help from Norbit's two ex-pimp friends Pope Sweet Jesus (Eddie Griffin) and Lord Have Mercy (Katt Williams) and the other townspeople, Kate falls in love with Norbit. Rasputia finds out about this while driving by the church and saw Kate and Norbit rehearsing the wedding. When Norbit tells her what he would say if he was saying vows to Kate, she kisses him, eventually running away since she is confused with her feelings.

Later, Norbit discovers that the Latimore brothers have orchestrated a plot to purchase Kate and Norbit's former orphanage to open up a strip club; since Deion is to be married to Kate, he'll have possession of the property, and he gets a share of the money once the strip club opens. When Kate finds out about the deal, Deion convinces her that Norbit only used her to help the Latimores. When she confronts him after he's locked in the basement by a vengeful Rasputia, Norbit acts mean to Kate to save her from Rasputia (who would burn her face with acid if he talks to her again) and says that last night, he was only trying to "score" with her. In a fit of rage, Kate leaves Norbit to go marry Deion instead. When the Latimores had left to go to the wedding, Norbit escapes from the basement, and races to the church on his bike (after Kate taught him) where Deion and Kate are to be married, chased by the Latimores and falls into a pond. He continues to the church, beating the Latimores. Norbit reveals that Deion has gotten rich off of divorce settlements and only marries women for their money. He proves this by presenting Deion's ex-wives and children in person. Deion flees and the Latimores, angered that their plans are now ruined forever, attack Norbit.

Just as the brothers prepare to kill Norbit, they're stopped by the townspeople who have taken up arms to defend Norbit and get their revenge on the Latimores. In the ensuing battle, Rasputia fights her way through the crowd (using a spade as a weapon), but just when she's about to kill Norbit with the spade, Mr. Wong comes out and harpoons her in the butt. Rasputia and her brothers are then chased out of town by the mob, never to be seen or heard from again.

Norbit and Kate buy the orphanage and get married under the tree where they got married as kids. Rasputia and her brothers escape to Mexico and open up the El Nipplopolis club, where Rasputia becomes their most popular and lucrative stripper.

Cast

Production

Norbit was one of three films directed by Brian Robbins that saw both him and Eddie Murphy work together. Later, they teamed for two more film, Meet Dave and A Thousand Words. In the case of the first two movies he starred in working with Robbins, Murphy did multiple characters and worked in body costumes, especially as Rasputia.

Reception

Norbit was universally panned. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 9%, based on 11 fresh reviews out of 122, and selected top critics giving it a combined score of 7%. The consensus described Norbit as "a cruel, crass, stereotype-filled comedy that's more depressing than funny".[2]

Metacritic gave the movie a score of 27%, based on 26 reviews which were generally unfavorable.[3]

Mick LaSalle, of the San Franciso Chronicle gave a positive review, suggesting that Norbit might be a factor in the chances of Murphy winning an Oscar for his role in Dreamgirls, saying that his work playing three distinct characters in Norbit is more impressive than anything he does in Dreamgirls.[4] Others suggested it might hurt his chances,[5] ultimately Alan Arkin won the award for Best Supporting Actor.

Release

Box office

Despite being critically slated, Norbit was a success at the box office. The movie opened to $34.2 million in the United States and it was Eddie Murphy's 14th #1 box office opener.[6]

Soundtrack

The soundtrack for Norbit was released on February 6, 2007 by Lakeshore Records.[7][8]

  1. "Standing in the Safety Zone" - The Fairfield Four (2:41)
  2. "It's Goin' Down" - Yung Joc (4:03)
  3. "You Did" - Kate Earl feat. The Designated Hitters (2:26)
  4. "I Only Want to Be with You" - Dusty Springfield (2:37)
  5. "Milkshake" - Kelis (3:04)
  6. "Shoppin' for Clothes" - The Coasters (2:58)
  7. "Walk It Out" - Unk (2:54)
  8. "Looking for You" - Kirk Franklin (4:06)
  9. "Sweet Honey" - Slightly Stoopid (3:52)
  10. "The Hands of Time" - Perfect Circle (6:19)
  11. "Young Norbit" - David Newman (3:33)
  12. "Queen of Whores" - David Newman (:46)
  13. "Kate Returns"/"Tuesday, Tuesday" - David Newman (3:24)
  14. "Norbit Sneaks Out" - David Newman (:33)
  15. "Rasputia's Fury" - David Newman (1:44)
  16. "Norbit and Kate" - David Newman (:55)

"Don't Cha" performed by The Pussycat Dolls was used in the film, but does not appear on the soundtrack album.

The song "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" is sung in Norbit and Rasputia's wedding party, but it doesn't come out in the soundtrack album.

Accolades

Norbit was nominated for 8 Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, and won 3 awards, all for Eddie Murphy as 3 different characters.[9] On the other hand, the movie was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup.

Golden Raspberry Awards

Academy Awards

References

External links