Norbit

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Norbit
A large woman on top of a small man
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brian Robbins
Produced by John Davis
Eddie Murphy
Mike Tollin
Screenplay by
Story by Eddie Murphy
Charlie Murphy
Starring
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Clark Mathis
Editing by Ned Bastille
Studio DreamWorks Pictures
Davis Entertainment
Tollin/Robbins Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures (United States)
Universal Pictures (International)
Release dates
  • February 9, 2007 (2007-02-09)
Running time 102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[1]
Box office $159,313,561[1]

Norbit is a 2007 American romantic comedy film directed by Brian Robbins, and written and produced by Eddie Murphy, who also starred in the film. The film also co-stars Thandie Newton, Terry Crews, Eddie Griffin, Katt Williams, Marlon Wayans and Cuba Gooding, Jr. It was released by DreamWorks and distributed by Paramount Pictures on February 9, 2007.

Norbit features a collaboration between Terry Crews and Marlon Wayans, reuniting them for the first time since 2004's White Chicks. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in make-up,[2] and also multiple "wins" at the 2007 Golden Raspberry Awards. It was negatively received by critics, but the film was a commercial success.

Plot[edit]

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 pressure from Rasputia's brothers Big Black Jack (Terry Crews), Blue (Lester 'Rasta' Speight), and Earl (Clifton Powell), whom all the townspeople fear, except for Mr. Wong, who is the only person in town that the Latimores fear. Wong frequently express his disgust with Rasputia and would mock and insult her without incurring the Latimores' wrath. Rasputia and her brothers run the local construction company where Norbit works as a bookkeeper. 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, but he is disappointed to find out that she is 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 about 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 will receive 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 is locked in the basement by a vengeful Rasputia, Norbit acts meanly to Kate to save her from Rasputia (who would hurt Kate if he talked to her again) and says that the previous 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. He arrives ahead of the Latimores and 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 flees, and the Latimores, angered that their plans are permanently ruined, 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 her butt 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 El Nipplopolis, where Rasputia becomes their most popular and lucrative stripper.

Cast[edit]

  • Eddie Murphy as:
      • Norbit Albert Rice, a shy but lovable nerd.
      • Rasputia Latimore, an obese, selfish, dominant, and lazy woman married to Norbit.
      • Mr. Hangten Wong, the owner of the orphanage where Norbit and Kate grew up.
    • Khamani Griffin as young Norbit (age 5)
    • Austin Reid as young Norbit (age 9)
    • Jonathan Robinson as young Norbit (age 17)
    • Lindsey Sims-Lewis as young Rasputia (age 10)
    • Yves Lola St. Vil as young Rasputia (age 17)
  • 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.
  • Clifton Powell as Earl, Rasputia's youngest brother.
  • Lester 'Rasta' Speight as Blue, Rasputia's middle brother.
  • Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Deion Hughes, Kate's fiancé who has several children with different mothers.
  • Eddie Griffin as Pope Sweet Jesus, an ex-pimp and Norbit's friend.
  • Katt Williams as Lord Have Mercy, Pope's sidekick and friend.
  • Floyd Levine as Abe, the tailor.
  • Anthony Russell as Sam Giovanni, the Italian owner of Giovanni's.
  • Pat Crawford Brown as Mrs. Henderson, an elderly woman.
  • Jeanette Miller as Mrs. Coleman, an elderly woman.
  • Michael Colyar as Morris, the barber.
  • Marlon Wayans as Buster "Bust-A-Move" Perkin, Rasputia's tap dancing instructor with whom Rasputia has an affair.
  • Alexis Rhee as Mrs. Ling Ling Wong, the Mr. Wong's wife.
  • Charlie Murphy (voice) as Lloyd the Dog, Mrs. Henderson's pet Pug dog. (Credited as Floyd the Dog).

Production[edit]

Norbit was the first of three films where director Brian Robbins and Eddie Murphy worked together. They later collaborated 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.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Norbit was universally panned. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 9%, based on 123 reviews (11 positive, 112 negative). The site's consensus described Norbit as "a cruel, crass, stereotype-filled comedy that's more depressing than funny".[3] Metacritic gave the movie a score of 27%, based on 26 reviews which were "generally unfavorable".[4]

Mick LaSalle, of the San Francisco Chronicle gave a positive review, suggesting that Norbit might help Murphy's chances of winning an Oscar for his role in Dreamgirls, saying that his work playing three distinct characters in Norbit is more impressive than anything he did in Dreamgirls.[5] Others suggested it might hurt his chances.[6] 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.[7]

Box office[edit]

Norbit was a success at the box office. It opened to $34.2 million in the United States and it was Eddie Murphy's 14th #1 box office opener.[8] The film earned $95,673,607 at the North American domestic box office, and $63,639,954 in other markets 39.9%, for a total of $159,313,561 worldwide.[1]

Accolades[edit]

Norbit was nominated for 8 Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, and won 3 awards, all for Eddie Murphy as 3 different characters.[9] The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup.[2]

Award Category Subject Result
Academy Award[2] Best Makeup Rick Baker Nominated
Kazuhiro Tsuji Nominated
Golden Raspberry Award[9] Worst Actor Eddie Murphy (as Norbit) Won
Cuba Gooding, Jr. Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Eddie Murphy (as Mr. Wong) Won
Worst Supporting Actress Eddie Murphy (as Rasputia) Won
Worst Screen Couple Eddie Murphy (and either Eddie Murphy or Eddie Murphy) Nominated
Worst Picture John Davis Nominated
Mike Tollin Nominated
Eddie Murphy Nominated
Worst Screenplay Nominated
Charlie Murphy Nominated
Jay Scherick Nominated
David Ronn Nominated
Worst Director Brian Robbins Nominated

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack for Norbit was released on February 6, 2007 by Lakeshore Records.[10][11]

  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.

Home media[edit]

Norbit was released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and HD DVD on June 5, 2007. Since HD DVD was discontinued, Norbit has remained available on Blu-ray and DVD.

References[edit]

External links[edit]