Retro Review: Big Momma’s House

Martin Lawrence stars in his second Hollywood vehicle but can his film overcome the comparisons to an “Eddie Murphy comedy” or “the black Mrs. Doubtfire”.

Maybe he can pull a good movie out of there!

Lawrence stars as undercover FBI agent Malcolm Turner, who is trying to capture a nasty prison escapee and bank robber before he can escape with the money.

While tracking the con, Turner discovers the bank robber’s girlfriend is leaving the abusive con and fleeing to her grandmother’s (or Big Momma) house.

After assembling a stakeout outside of the grandmother’s house, Turner discovers that the grandmother is leaving for a trip. Panicking Turner assumes the role of Big Momma and greets her arriving grand-daughter.

Big Momma has a lot of problems. Lawrence tries his very best to try to make the material funny.

It’s sometimes sad to see such a talented man so lost in such an ugly script.

Why did Hollywood place this poor actor in this so obviously unfunny project?

I can remember the 1980’s and the huge success of Eddie Murphy but what made Eddie so successful was that the scripts accented his unique comedic talents. In recent years, the subtler Murphy has found success with the “Nutty Professor” and “Dr Dolittle” but they have never recaptured the magic of his earlier works.

I believe the key problem with “Big Momma” is the script and that it can’t seem to bring out the comedy trapped in Lawrence.

Also the main comedic elements in this film are things we have seen countless times before.

Some of the elements are the fat jokes, the man in the woman clothes gags and the dashing around as the main star tries to assume two identities at the same time.

Some scenes are a direct rip-off of Mrs. Doubtfire with a black theme tucked in. During the cooking scene, I was waiting for Lawrence’s huge fake breasts to catch fire but they never did and neither did the humor. Maybe within this film there are some elements that will appeal to some audiences but for me I found the whole experience very trying.

(1 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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