Norbit Albert Rice (Eddie Murphy) and Kate Thomas (Thandie Newton) were the best of friends in an orphanage as children owned by their father figure, Mr. Wong (Eddie Murphy), but were separated when Kate was adopted. After being bullied by twins in the orphanage, Norbit meets Rasputia Latimore (Eddie Murphy), a fat, self-centered, overbearing, vain girl who makes Norbit her boyfriend and protects him from other kids. As they both grow up, Rasputia dominates every aspect of Norbit’s life and they eventually marry. Rasputia mistreats, insults, and dominates Norbit to ensure that she keeps him to herself.

Years later, Norbit is performing a puppet show for the children at the orphanage when he sees Kate for the first time in years. Stunned by her, his affection for her returns. He is disappointed to find out that she is engaged to Deion Hughes (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), a sneaky, slick-talking businessman. Eventually, Kate and Norbit fall in love with each other, resulting from Kate teaching Norbit how to finally ride a bike.

Rasputia finds out about Norbit and Kate’s affection for each other and tries to prevent Norbit from talking to her. Things become more complicated when Norbit uncovers a plan by the Latimore brothers, Black Jack, Earl, and Blue (Terry Crews, Clifton Powell and Lester “Rasta” Speight, respectively), who wish to purchase Kate and Norbit’s former orphanage to open up a strip club. The brothers convince Deion to become their business partner in the venture. When Kate finds out about the deal she assumes Norbit was behind it all and only used her. When she confronts him after he is locked in the basement by a resentful Rasputia, Norbit lies to Kate to save her from Rasputia. In a fit of rage, Kate leaves Norbit to marry Deion.

Norbit escapes his confinement in the basement, and races to the church where Deion and Kate are to be married. 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 attack Norbit.

Just as the brothers prepare to kill Norbit, the mob of townspeople arrive, who have all taken arms to defend Norbit and get revenge on the Latimores. Rasputia fights her way through the crowd, and just when Rasputia is about to kill Norbit, she is harpooned in the rear by Mr. Wong. She is chased out of town with her brothers and Deion, who are chased by the mob of townspeople.

Kate and Norbit buy the orphanage and get married under the tree that they once played as children. Rasputia and her brothers move to Mexico and open up the “El Nipplopolis” with Rasputia, who has become their most popular and lucrative stripper.


 I could sit here and say that this was hands down one of the worst films I’d ever seen, but the truth is, Norbit really isn’t half as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Having said that, this is still far from being a good film.

The biggest thing this film has going for it, aside from negative publicity, is that it can be seen as extremely offensive to those that are…on the larger side.

This thing keeps with the fat jokes, but aside from the initial joke, it gets old quick. If they really wanted to keep up with the fat jokes, then they should take a page from Mike & Molly and sprinkle on in here and there. At least on that show, it isn’t offensive. Hell, I was getting offended watching this mess, especially the scene at the water park. I know that was supposed to be for comedic effect, which is all fine and dandy, but this was just uncalled for.

Anyone remember when Eddie Murphy actually made movies that were funny? I think the last one might have been the 2nd Nutty Professor. I wonder where his comedic talent went. This film shows he has it now and then, but it is sort of like a light that is about to go out.

Murphy seems desperate with this film. This may explain why he cakes on the makeup to play Norbit, who seems to be Murphy’s version of an Adam Sandler character, Rasputia, and Mr. Wong. I’m sorry, I know that the makeup was a huge thing when he first did it, but now it has been done so much, that it just isn’t funny anymore. Of course, this script/story may have ha something to do with that.

If there is a bright spot to this film it is the acting of Cuba Gooding, Jr. and the lovely Thandie Newton. Gooding is your generic douche boyfriend, but he does it as only he can. Newton is a vision of loveliness. I have to wonder, though, if she was cast for her stick figure frame, as a contrast to Rasputia. Aside from being breathtakingly beautiful, she really makes the audience believe her performance.

Another bright spot was the pimps, played by Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams. Do I really need to say anything else? These guys are hilarious (something Murphy used to be).

Sure, Norbit has been panned by critics and moviegoers alike, but it really isn’t as bad as they would have you belive. Don’t get me wrong, this thing is bad, but there is some heart buried underneath all the fat jokes and Murphy’s makeup. I am hesitant to do this, but I do think you should check it out, if for no other reason than to make an informed decision for yourself.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

One Response to “Norbit”

  1. […] this pays off a la Eddie Murphy in Coming to America. Other times, it is a big flop, a la Murphy in Norbit. What can be said, though, is that Peter Sellers creates 3 totally different characters and is […]

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