Wednesday, August 01, 2007

NORBIT - actually not so bad!

I refused to see NORBIT in the cinema because I didn't want to be party to yet another film in which someone (usually Eddie Murphy) dons a fat suit and makes fun of fat people. It seems that in these politically correct times, the only people we can still mock with impunity are chavs and the obese. But eventually, Doctor007 brought the flick over on DVD and actually I was pleasantly surprised, because once you strip away the fat jokes this is actually a very funny, if utterly predictable, romantic comedy. In addition, while I think the flick could've survived as happily without the fat jokes, you do have to admire Murphy and the make-up artist for creating a character, Rasputia, that is utterly believable.

As usual, Murphy plays a bunch of characters in this flick but the main one is a gullible orphan called Norbit. Early on in life he loses his sweetheart and is taken up by a mean fat girl called Rasputia and her criminal family. In adult life, he's bizarrely happily married (after all, Rasputia gives him a family), until his childhood sweetheart walks back into his life. She's played by Thandie Newton in full on "sweet" mode. The movie is about Norbit realising that he has the strength to walk out on adulterous Rasputia and expose his girlfriend's fiance as a con-man.

Against all expectations, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, although tellingly these do not involve Rasputia. I loved the Eddie Griffin and Marlon Wayans characters, for instance. There's also something instinctively appealing about a movie filmed in primary colours in which good wins out over bad. So, surprised as I am to say it, NORBIT gets a thumbs up as a DVD movie.

NORBIT was released in February 2007 and is now available on DVD.

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