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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Robbins|
|Produced by||John Davis
|Story by||Eddie Murphy
|Music by||David Newman|
|Editing by||Ned Bastille|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||102 minutes|
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 and distributed by Paramount Pictures on February 9, 2007.
The movie received an Academy Award nomination for make-up, 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.
Norbit Albert Rice (Eddie Murphy) and Kate Thomas (Thandie Newton) were best friends as children in an orphanage owned by their father figure, Mr. Wong (Eddie Murphy), but were separated when Kate was adopted. While being bullied by twins in the orphanage, Norbit is saved by Rasputia Latimore (Eddie Murphy), a fat, self-centered, overbearing, vain girl who makes Norbit her boyfriend and protects him from other kids. As they grow up, Rasputia dominates every aspect of Norbit's life.
They eventually get married, in part due to the pressure from Rasputia's brothers Big Black Jack (Terry Crews), Blue (Lester "Rasta" Speight), and Earl (Clifton Powell), of whom the whole town lives in fear, with the exception of Mr. Wong, who is the only person in town that the Latimores are afraid of. Because of this, Wong frequently express his disgust with Rasputia and would mock and insult her without incurring her and her brothers' wrath. 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 dance instructor Buster Perkin (Marlon Wayans), who only goes along with it to gain money from her brothers.
Norbit performs a puppet show for the children at the orphanage, during which he releases his rage against Rasputia through the puppets. Unexpectedly, during the show, Norbit sees Kate for the first time in years. Stunned by her return, his affection for her reignites. 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 sees 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.
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 leave to go to the wedding, Norbit escapes from the basement, and races to the church on his bike 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 on divorce settlements and only marries women for their money. He proves this by presenting Deion's ex-wives and children in person. Deion admits defeat and runs off and the Latimores, angered that their plans are now ruined forever, attack Norbit.
Just as the brothers prepare to kill Norbit, a mob of townspeople arrive. They have all taken up arms to defend Norbit and get revenge on the Latimores. Rasputia fights her way through the crowd, but just when Rasputia is about to kill Norbit, she is harpooned in the rear by Mr. Wong. The mob chases the Latimores and Deion out of town.
Kate and Norbit buy the orphanage and get married under the tree where they once played as children. Rasputia and her brothers move to Mexico and open up the El Nipplopolis, where Rasputia becomes their most popular and lucrative stripper.
- Eddie Murphy as:
- Khamani Griffin as young Norbit (age 5)
- Austin Reid as young Norbit (age 13)
- Lindsey Sims-Lewis as young Rasputia (age 12)
- Thandie Newton as Kate Thomas, Norbit's friend, in whom he has a romantic interest.
- China Anderson as young Kate (age 5)
- Terry Crews as Big Black Jack, Rasputia's eldest brother.
- Lester "Rasta" Speight as Blue, Rasputia's middle brother.
- Clifton Powell as Earl, Rasputia's youngest brother.
- Eddie Griffin as Pope Sweet Jesus, an ex-pimp and Norbit's friend.
- Katt Williams as Lord Have Mercy, Pope's sidekick and friend.
- Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Deion Hughes, Kate's fiancé who has several children with different mothers.
- Marlon Wayans as Buster "Bust-A-Move" Perkin, Rasputia's tap dancing instructor with whom Rasputia has an affair.
- Michael Colyar as Morris, the barber.
- Pat Crawford Brown as Mrs. Henderson, an elderly woman.
- Charlie Murphy (voice) as Lloyd the Dog, Mrs. Henderson's pet Pug dog. (Credited as Floyd the Dog).
- Anthony Russell as Sam Giovanni, the owner of Giovanni's.
Norbit was the first of three films where director Brian Robbins and Eddie Murphy work together. They later teamed for 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.
Norbit was universally panned. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 9%, based on 123 reviews (11 fresh, 112 rotten). The site's consensus described Norbit as "a cruel, crass, stereotype-filled comedy that's more depressing than funny". Metacritic gave the movie a score of 27%, based on 26 reviews which were generally unfavorable.
Mick LaSalle, of the San Francisco 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. Others suggested it might hurt his chances. Ultimately, Alan Arkin won the award for Best Supporting Actor.
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a B grade, with under eighteens (28% of those surveyed) giving it a B+ grade.
- "Standing in the Safety Zone" - The Fairfield Four (2:41)
- "It's Goin' Down" - Yung Joc (4:03)
- "You Did" - Kate Earl feat. The Designated Hitters (2:26)
- "I Only Want to Be with You" - Dusty Springfield (2:37)
- "Milkshake" - Kelis (3:04)
- "Shoppin' for Clothes" - The Coasters (2:58)
- "Walk It Out" - Unk (2:54)
- "Looking for You" - Kirk Franklin (4:06)
- "Sweet Honey" - Slightly Stoopid (3:52)
- "The Hands of Time" - Perfect Circle (6:19)
- "Young Norbit" - David Newman (3:33)
- "Queen of Whores" - David Newman (:46)
- "Kate Returns"/"Tuesday, Tuesday" - David Newman (3:24)
- "Norbit Sneaks Out" - David Newman (:33)
- "Rasputia's Fury" - David Newman (1:44)
- "Norbit and Kate" - David Newman (:55)
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.
Norbit was nominated for 8 Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, and won 3 awards, all for Eddie Murphy as 3 different characters. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup.
Golden Raspberry Awards
- Worst Picture
- Worst Director
- Worst Actor (Eddie Murphy; as Norbit)
- Worst Actor (Cuba Gooding, Jr.)
- Worst Supporting Actor (Eddie Murphy; as Mr. Wong)
- Worst Supporting Actress (Eddie Murphy; as Rasputia)
- Worst Screenplay
- Worst Screen Couple (Eddie Murphy and either Eddie Murphy or Eddie Murphy)
- Academy Award Nominations
- "Norbit (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster.
- Norbit at Metacritic
- Mick LaSalle (February 9, 2007). "MOVIE REVIEWS / He can sing, he can dance. But mostly he likes fat suits.". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Nicole Sperling (February 12, 2007). "'Norbit' take hefty at $33.7 mil". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Norbit SOUNDTRACK amazon.com
- Norbit - Original Soundtrack allmusic.com
- Norbit gains 3 wins at Razzies Razzies.com
- Norbit at the Internet Movie Database
- Norbit at allmovie
- Norbit at Box Office Mojo
- Norbit at Metacritic
- Norbit at Rotten Tomatoes