Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nnegest Likké|
|Produced by||Robert F. Newmyer|
Steven J. Wolfe
|Written by||Nnegest Likké|
Kendra C. Johnson
|Music by||Stephen Endelman|
|Cinematography||John L. Demps, Jr.|
|Edited by||Zack Arnold|
Sneak Preview Entertainment
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
Jazmin has always been overweight, (unlike her skinny cousin Mia), constantly battling with diets, weight loss aids, and even her own clothes. Because of her battle with finding trendy clothes that fit her full figure, despite working in a clothing department store, Jazmin creates and designs her own outfits. Even going as far as attempting to get a business loan to get her clothing line up and running. During a bout of depression, Jazmin is contacted from one of her diet plan agencies and told she won a trip for 3 to Palm Springs for the weekend at a five-star resort. She and best friend Stacey find the first day at the spa embarrassing, as hotel robes don't fit, the massage tables too small for their thick figures, and uninviting attitudes from other hotel guests. They leave in frustration to join Mia, who has been ogling a Nigerian man swimming in the pool. Despite Mia's obvious flirting, he expresses interest in Jazmin. He introduces himself as Dr. Tunde, but Jazmin is tongue tied, too distracted by his good looks to remember her own name. He and his friends find Jazmin and Stacey beautiful. However, they think Mia is too skinny and wonder if she is sick. They invite the women to a Nigerian party, Tunde, speaking Nigerian with his friends Dr. Akibo and Dr. Godwin, tells them he has never seen such beautiful full figured women in America. Upon their night out, Tunde expresses even more interest with her outspoken behaviour and strong opinions. Akibo shows his desire for Stacey and she reciprocates, fighting her shy nature. Meanwhile Godwin attempts to flirt with other full figured guests, ignoring Mia. Even going as far as to tell a woman she was a patient, explaining why she is so thin. Akibo and Stacey go on to have days packed with vigorous sex and Mia leaves the party early to go back to the hotel and wallow in self pity over not finding an attractive Dr. Like Stacey and Jazmin. Tunde and Jazmin begin dating with Jazmin constantly questioning his attraction to her, to herself and to Tunde. Going as far as to ask him if he is truly interested in her, why hasn't he tried to sleep with her? Tunde tells Jazmin he was trying to be respectful but will gladly sleep with her the next day, due to work obligations but before they consummate their relationship she grows jealous and makes a scene when she sees him having dinner with a beautiful, thin, white woman instead of having dinner with a colleague like he told her. Tunde reveals the woman was his colleague, but Jazmin, realizing she is too insecure to be comfortable in a relationship with Tunde, breaks up with him and leaves Palm Springs, along with Stacey and Mia. At home, she is depressed, ignoring phone calls, comforting herself with food and television before having a breakthrough and realizing she is beautiful and worthy of being loved. Bursting with new confidence, Jazmin approaches the head buyer of the Bloomfields where she works and shows him her designs. Impressed he helps develop Jazmin's fashion line "Thick Madame" becomes popular and is launched worldwide.
One year later, she travels to Nigeria to apologize to the man she realizes she loves. A woman opens the door holding a baby. Jazmin asks if she is Tunde's wife, and the woman agrees. Jazmin has the girls go to the taxi because she did not wish to be rejected with an audience. She tells Tunde that he has changed her life, and she is sorry she could not accept his love when she had the chance. Explaining she could not accept love from someone when she did not love herself and though she still cares for him she is not a "homewrecker" and will not pursue him. Tunde clarifies that the woman is a maid, he delivered the baby, and the maid doesn't understand English. He says his prayers have been answered, as he has loved Jazmin all along and they share a passionate kiss. Stacey also reunites with their partner, and they join Tunde's family for dinner. Mia piles food on her plate, stating that she wants to bulk up so she can find a rich Nigerian doctor as well. The film ends with Jazmin and Tunde in bed, while Jazmin insists on having the lights on to see every sexy thing on Tunde's body, with the credits ending.
- Mo'Nique as Jazmin Biltmore
- Raven Goodwin as Young Jazmin Biltmore
- Jimmy Jean-Louis as Dr. Tunde Jonathan
- Godfrey as Akibo
- Kendra C. Johnson as Stacey
- Joyful Drake as Mia
- Dayo Ade as Goodwin
- Felix Pire as Ramón
- Charles Duckworth as Jack
- Jack Noseworthy as Richard "Dick" Eklund
- Eric Roberts as Robert Myer
- Crystal Rivers as Aimee
In its opening weekend, the film grossed a total of $3,109,924 in the United States. As of July 9, the film has grossed a total of $7,061,128 in the United States. The film is considered to be successful because it made its $3 million production budget back in its first weekend of release. It only made $340,762 overseas and thus has only made $7,401,890 worldwide.
The film received mostly negative reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes reporting that out of 43 reviews, 10 were "Fresh" and 33 "Rotten", making for an overall 23% approval rating and the consensus: "Although Phat Girlz has good intentions, it is sloppily made and thin on laughs." The film has a slightly higher score of 36/100 on Metacritic, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews. The San Francisco Chronicle praised the film, saying "Clumsily directed yet entertainingly written by Oakland native Nnegest Likké, Phat Girlz is like Rocky with cellulite. Or maybe Pretty Woman without all the bony butts. It has a lot of heart and soul, but it's almost never mean-spirited."
Variety magazine's Joe Leydon said that the film "feels torturously padded at an overlong 98 minutes", and also claims that the romance between Jazmin (Mo'Nique) and Tunde (Jean-Louis) is too drawn out, "quite possibly because writer-director Nnegest Likke has nothing else in her scenario to sustain audience interest". Entertainment Weekly gave the film a D grade, remarking that "Mo'Nique is fat. Almost every scene in Phat Girlz — the fancy z is for Z-grade — is about how she's fat", and concluding that "the movie reduces her to a single discernible characteristic, which is a telltale mark of many a wholly awful comedy."
- "Phat Girlz (2006) - Box Office Mojo". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Hartlaub, Peter (August 22, 2006). "Phat Girlz". San Francisco Chronicle, Hearst Corporation. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- "Variety Reviews - Phat Girlz - Film Reviews - New U.S. Release - Review by Joe Leydon". Variety.com, Reed Elsevier. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- "Phat Girlz Review". Entertainment Weekly. April 12, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2012.