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Movie Review

Norbit

MPAA Rating: R for some sex-related humor

Reviewed by: Suzie Hardy
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
_____
Year of Release:
2007
USA Release:
February 9, 2007 (wide)
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Fornication

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.
Featuring: Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding Jr., Eddie Griffin, Terry Crews
Director: Brian Robbins
Producer: John Davis, Michael Tollin, Eddie Murphy
Distributor: Paramount Pictures Corporation

“Have you ever made a really big mistake?

Norbit is a “geeky” orphan living in a Chinese orphanage. He has a first love there in the orphanage who moves away. He is then rescued by Rasputia, a very large girl, who then becomes his girlfriend and later his wife. The story is of their life together and the antics it provides.

Eddie Murphy does an excellent job of acting in several different parts during the movie. The movie in itself is hilariously funny. It has been a long time since I have been in a movie where the whole theater was laughing hysterically. BUT…

I cannot recommend this movie to Christians with a clear conscience. 1. After 50 curse words we stopped counting. The movie is full of those words. 2. The humor tended to be crude at times and extremely sexual in nature and content. 3. Rasputia, the extremely large woman played by Murphy, is in several lingerie outfits at times. There is nudity in a scene with Rasputia in bed with her dance instructor. He gets out of the bed and is naked. For these reasons, I cannot recommend this movie to a Christian viewing audience. It is sad that a movie so funny has to be crude and raw. You definitely would not want children to see this.

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Norbit has never had it easy. As a baby, he was abandoned on the steps of a Chinese restaurant/orphanage and raised by Mr. Wong. Things get worse when he’s forced into marriage by the mean, junk food-chugging queen, Rasputia. Just when Norbit’s hanging by his last thread, his childhood sweetheart, Kate, moves back to town. ‘Norbit’ stars Eddie Murphy in the title role, a meek guy pressed into marrying a monstrous woman (also Murphy), only to meet the woman of his dreams (Thandie Newton). Cuba Gooding Jr. takes the role of Newton’s boyfriend, while Eddie Griffin will star as a retired pimp. Terry Crews is in as one of Norbit’s in-laws.”


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I feel that this was classic Eddie Murphy. He is a very talented young man. I didn’t view the film from a critical point of view. I went into it with an open mind not expecting anything. I really liked the movie and will be purchasing the dvd when available. I really admire Eddie for stepping up and not being afraid to portray himself in so many different ways, that shows his versatility as an actor, not to boost himself up. As for being offensive or too much profanity, as I said earlier, classic Eddie Murphy. I do recommend the movie. Absolutely loved it!!!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Mrs. Sherwood, age 40
Neutral
Neutral—I’ll have to admit that I did enjoy the movie for the most part, but some things concerned me. While I did like the ending, and the way that others stood up for Norbit, after the movie, I felt sad about the plot. Rasputia was a total hypocrite (she claimed she was a Christian, yet she abused her husband, both verbally and physically, and showed no respect or consideration for him). And when Norbit caught her cheating on him, she didn’t even show remorse or regret for her actions!

She was an abusive spouse, and, in reality, we all should be more concerned. Her mistreating her husband was shown, for the most part, in a lighthearted manner, and that’s troubling. Why? Imagine, if Rasputia had been a man, and Norbit a woman. No one would find the movie funny then, if it had been about a man treating his wife the way Rasputia treated Norbit.

Men can be victims of spousal abuse, as well as women; they are just less likely to come forward. If we view this movie with our young people, we need to tell them that it is not any more okay for a wife to abuse her husband than it is for a husband to abuse his wife.

Norbit did what many abused spouses tried doing: leaving the abuser several times, returning again and again, and trying to forgive, hoping that the abuser has learned his or her lesson. But an abuser has to want to change, and that’s difficult to do without God’s help. Sadly, most abusers do not (or will not) change their ways, and many times, leaving them for good is the only real option. Some may say, 'Oh, the abused must stay and forgive and pray for God to change that person’s heart!' But it is the abuser’s responsibility to change, and he or she must be willing before God intervenes.

Some may consider Norbit a wimp and “less of a man” for putting up with Rasputia’s abuse. But would we think that way about a woman, or would we try to reach out and help her? An abused man is no different than an abused woman; both need our help, love, and prayers.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Sawnya, age 29
Negative
Negative—“Norbit” is a depressing story with gloomy humor, and in all, it is a social commentary on the immorality and heathenism that taints a large percent of the black community in America. Anyone who has ever lived in a black ghetto knows that women who act exactly like Norbit’s nasty-faced wife are a dime a dozen. People like her brothers—adult gangsters with minds of that of a 12-year old—are also common, and even the norm in some places.

My husband, who is African American, says the movie shows black’s “its ugly self.” Sounds harsh, but the entire movie is filled with ugliness: ugly attitudes, ugly expressions, ugly behavior, ugly dress, and, of course, the ugliness of Norbit’s obese and prideful wife. If you are looking for a lighthearted funny movie, this will not suit you. This movie is a strong social commentary, and it is filled with inappropriate scenes and language so parents should be advised. The movie gets a 2½ for filmmaking quality, because Eddie Murphy makes a pretty realistic Chinese man and fat woman.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2½
—A. Roscoe, age 24
NegativeEddie Murphy is a fair comedian. “Nutty Proffesor” was well done with all the special effects as well as Nutty Professors II, however, he has taken these special effects to a silly and boring extreme. He again plays many other characters himself I think in an effort to showcase his abilities. If he would harness his talent in a few more productions such as in the comedy “The Distinguished Gentleman,” he would build much more mileage developing his legacy. “Norbit,” save your money!
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—Lynn Short, age 52
Negative—I was expecting to laugh a lot more, but I thought the movie was kind of sad and certainly gross. Norbit just gets abused his whole life, and the fat jokes at Rasputia’s expense get old. Norbit’s love interest is way too thin—she looks sickly. It was mean spirited and nasty. They want to make it look like a fun family move, but don’t be fooled—I wouldn’t let me kids see it. A waste of money.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2½
—Misa, age 32
Negative—I was very disappointed that Eddie Murphy reverted back to his old nasty and offensive taste in humor. My wife and I could not believe what we were viewing. It was highly degrading, vulgar and not funny at all. I made sure I called all my friends to tell them to bypass seeing this film! If I had thought about it sooner I would have gotten up before my 30 minute viewing limit and demanded a refund. As much as I love Eddie Murphy as a comedian, I thought this was the worst he’d ever done. In all fairness though, the makeup, the characters he played was awesome but not enough to redeem the poor, moral and debaseness of the content. Enter at your own risk!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Dewayne, age 45
Negative—Norbit is a “geeky” orphan living in a Chinese orphanage. He has a first love there in the orphanage who moves away. He is then rescued by Rasputia, a very large girl, who then becomes his girlfriend and later his wife. The story is of their life together and the antics it provides. Eddie Murphy does an excellent job of acting in several different parts during the movie. The movie in itself is hilariously funny. It has been a long time since I have been in a movie where the whole theater was laughing hysterically. BUT…

I cannot recommend this movie to Christians with a clear conscience. 1. After 50 curse words we stopped counting. The movie is full of those words. 2. The humor tended to be crude at times and extremely sexual in nature and content. 3. Rasputia, the extremely large woman played by Murphy, is in several lingerie outfits at times. There is nudity in a scene with Rasputia in bed with her dance instructor. He gets out of the bed and is naked. For these reasons, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this movie to a Christian viewing audience. It is sad that a movie so extremely funny has to be crude and raw at the same time. It is billed as a children’s movie as such, and you definitely would not want children to see this.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—Suzie Hardy, age 49
Negative—In this movie our heavenly father is cursed 13 times. I had to leave the theatre after 30 minutes. My son told me that on one occasion the cursing took place within a church. My son watched the whole movie but was overwhelmed with the cursing and was very dissappointed. I don’t recommend this movie at all. If you are a real christian your ears will start to tingle after hearing the Lord’s name used in vain. Eddie Murphy and all the so called christians who liked this movie should feel ashamed. Our heavenly father is watching!!!…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Amy, age 52
Negative—I was extremly offended!! I could not believe the use of the profanity especially when it came to be in the “church.” I felt like it was a total slap in the face of Christians, to let others think that this is the type of behavior that goes in the church. What type of pastor would let a woman engaged to one man kiss a married man in the church. As believers we have to stand up for what is right!! and letting the world walk all over us!!!…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1½
—Kelli Bolton, age 31
Negative—I mistakenly thought the movie was PG-13 and brought my 12yr old son to see this movie. If you base going to this movie on Eddie Murphy's previous “multiple-character” movies, I am pretty sure that you will be disappointed. The laughs were relied on too much by the vulgar jokes, which got very few laughs from the other patrons. I do agree with one of the other viewers comments in that the costuming was very good but I stopped appreciating that in light of how bad the dialogue was.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—cindy, age 36
Negative—This was by far one of the dumbest movies I have ever seen, this was a “B” movie at best. Considering some of Eddie Murphy's movies that were actually good, seeing this one made me cringe. Granted, there were a few funny parts but the rest of it was vulgar, extremely stupid, and in my opinion deserving of an “R” rating. I would suggest you save the $ you would spend on tickets and snacks, go to the store and buy Balderdash and have some real laughs @ home…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—Anthony, age 32
Negative—The movie was a disgrace and a waste of Money. If you are not convicted by some of the crudeness and bad language of this movie, then you should question some things about your walk. I was very disappointed, totally. Eddie Murphy was not good in this one.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—Samantha Turner, age 29
Negative—The potty humor, profanity, racism, and insult to the overweight shouldn’t bother anyone who came to see Eddie Murphy be Eddie Murphy. What pushes it over the edge is the film’s climax in a church where a pimp named “Sweet Jesus” preaches sex tips to the congregation, while a demonic black woman uses God’s name in vain. And the lead woman character is truly demonic; as a character, she has absolutely no redeeming qualities, and never shows any hint of goodness. Every character in the film is similarly one-dimensional, irritating, and crude, but if you take them all as a whole, perhaps the movie itself could be considered one big character played by Eddie Murphy. But I think that speaks more about the actor’s psychology than his poor role choices.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2½
—Adam, age 24
Negative—This movie was disgusting. My husband and I left the theater after being there for only about 15 min. We are not very familiar with Eddie Murphy's work but after giving this film a try we will be sure to stay far away. Within the first 15 min you are exposed to handfuls of cursing, gross sexual innuendos and perverted sexual situations etc. etc. Please do not view this film. It’s a waste of time. Not appropriate for anyone of any age especially those claiming to be born again believers in Jesus Christ.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Holly, age 20
Negative—…This movie was offensive—very offensive!!!… It put down God a lot made fun of him.—Eddie Murphy stinks in it!!! I used to like Eddie but he’s lost his touch! If you’re a Christian stay clear from this movie. …
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—Renee, age 34
Negative—I had high hopes for this movie, but the excessive sexually deviant and asinine behavior was so offensive that I stopped watching the movie after about 20 minutes. I did not want the movie in my home. So I went to the Rental store, and they exchanged it for a much better movie. (Apparently I wasn’t the only one that had done that.) I would not recommend this movie to anyone unless you are in need of a coaster.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—James Adams, age 46
Negative—…I found this movie full of sexual comments foul talk, and the sad thing to me, is that it could have been a really funny family movie. I would not take anyone to see it, I would not buy the video, and Eddie Murphy must need money bad to star in a movie like that. I had to leave the room, several times, and was so glad when it was over and so sorry I offered to watch it with someone. It embarassed me!!! Never again!!!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1½
—Jacki Lamphire, age 64
Negative—…My wife and I did not enjoye the movie and did not think Eddie Murphy's brother who wrote the movie did a good job at all. Eddie Murphy next time try coming out with a movie that does not lower your standards.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3½
—Eikym, age 28
Negative—What has happened to Eddie Murphey? When one looks at this private life it seems that he has thrown all caution and responsability to the wind… and Norbit seems to be a “love child” of sorts during his “time out.” The movie is just plain nasty. **SPOILERS** In the first 10 minutes we have a baby thrown from a moving car, almost eaten by coyotes, and called “an ugly black baby.” Then we witness him being beaten as a child by other children, used as target practice during a whale hunt (in which a real whaling spear is used!) and then mistreated by the villain of the piece… namely his horribly obese girlfriend/wife. **END OF SPOILERS**

As I said this movie is just nasty… nasty on tone, language, humor, and story. After sitting through this mess of a movie for about 10 minutes my wife and I turned it off (we were watching the DVD.) We both couldn’t believe hos low standards have fallen if a sick movie like this gets away with a PG-13 rating… mind you how could we expect more in this day and age that see’s movies like “Hostel” and “Saw” getting R ratings.

As a Christian and a minister, I watch a lot of movies… some would agrue too many and it’s very rare for me to stop a movie… it has to be pretty bad. In fact, the only other comedies I have stopped partway through is some of the earlier Farrelly Brothers movies including “Me, Myself and Irene,” “Something About Mary,” et al. And this is what Norbit reminded me of, an early Farrelly brothers movie. I like Eddie Murphey as an actor but he’s much better and cleaner in movies like “Dr. Doolittle” and “Daddy Day Care”—it’s hard to believe that he turned down the sequel to “Daddy Day Care” for this!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—Christian St John, age 36