WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: 'Norbit,' is supposed to be a comedy about a black man with obvious learning difficulties (Eddie Murphy) who marries an obese, abusive, criminal woman called Rasputia (also Eddie Murphy), only for him to learn to take control of his life and instead let her go to pursue his beautiful, lovely childhood crush Kate (Thandie Newton).
Now forgive me, but I can't find anything funny in that narrative, but sadly when watching the film, it's clear that we're supposed to. On the one hand, it's there for laughs that Norbit himself is so dumb and stupid. Murphy plays him chin forward, glasses crukid, face screwed; a caricature and a stereotype of someone with learning difficulties in a position where he's manipulated, taken advantage of and made fun of by everyone in his town and even his wife. The wife in question is also supposed to be hilarious; played in the most absurd fat-suit, with an equally screwed up set of facial expressions alongside the most absurdly stereotypical black-woman dialogue you've ever heard. There's even a moment on a water slide where we're supposed to find it hilarious that she's so fat that she causes a tidal wave and ends up in a children's pool, and even her brothers are the most absurd stereotypes of black muscly gangsters who go round the town terrorising everyone and allowing Resputia to treat Norbit however she pleases.
Perhaps the most hideous one in the film is the Asian character Murphy plays - Norbit's father figure Mr Wong - but the bottom line is that virtually everyone in the film is a stereotype for us to laugh at. Sure, caricature and satire can be funny, bit when it's this crass and over the top, it's never funny, and the fact Norbit goes so far with it all of the time makes it not only unbelievably unfunny, but also pretty mean-spirited and unbearable.
VERDICT: 'Norbit,' is one of the worst films I've ever seen. We're supposed to laugh at the most hideous stereotypes and the most horrible of circumstances, and the bottom line is that none of it is funny, and all of it is mean-spirited and gross. Avoid at all costs.