Norbit: Razzie Up, Eddie!

Eddie Murphy as NorbitI think it's telling that, in Norbit – despite giving himself three roles – Eddie Murphy has exactly one genuinely funny gag. It plays on the race card and is uttered by a character named Mr. Wong. Other than that, and some brief flurries by Eddie Griffin and Katt Williams as a pair of truly bizarre pimps, Norbit is pretty much a humor-free zone…

 

Norbit [Murphy] was dropped off at Mr. Wong's [Murphy, again] orphanage as a baby. His voiceover adds to the impression that the opening is cribbed from The Jerk – but with a black kid who grows into a gap-toothed Eddie Murphy. In the orphanage he has only one friend, a little girl named Kate. They marry themselves under a tree on the property and two weeks later, Kate is adopted.

Shortly thereafter, Rasputia inserts herself into his life. Fade into the present… and Norbit and Rasputia [also Murphy] are now married, and he works for her family's construction company – and guess what? Latimore Construction is a front for a crime family composed of Rasputia and her three brothers. Wheeeee…

Naturally, Kate [Thandie Newton] comes back to town with an eye toward buying the orphanage from the aging Mr. Wong – and she'd like Norbit to help her, but just help her with the orphanage – she's engaged to a real charmer named Deion [Cuba Gooding Jr.]. From there it's onward to a series of clich

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