FBI agent Malcolm Turner is known best for being a brilliant, master of disguise. Malcolm's latest assignment sends him to small-town Georgia, where he's assigned to trap a brutal bank robber (and a recent prison escapee) who they suspect will be coming down to visit his ex-girlfriend Sherry and her son. Malcolm sets up a stakeout across from the home of a larger-than-life southern matriarch known as Big Momma, who's about to be visited by Sherry. It's a simple plan, but there's one big problem: Unbeknownst to Sherry, Big Momma has unexpectedly left town. So Malcolm, decides to impersonate the cantankerous Southern granny. Using a few tricks of disguise, he completely transforms himself into Big Momma, even taking on the corpulent septuagenarian's everyday routine-from cooking soul food to delivering babies to "testifying" at the local church. In the mean time, Malcolm starts falling for Sherry, who may or may not be hiding some stolen cash. Now, Malcolm/Big Momma must somehow find a ... Written by
Big Momma's House is directed by Raja Gosnell, written by Darryl Quarles and Don Rhymer, and stars Martin Lawrence, Paul Giamatti, Nia Long & Terrance Howard. Lawrence plays FBI Agent Malcolm Turner who goes undercover as "Big Momma" Hattie Mae Pierce (Ella Mitchell), so as to hopefully snare escaped convict Lester Vesco (Howard). "Big Momma" is the aunt of Vesco's ex-wife, Sherry (Long), who is on her way to "Big Momma's" to hide out after hearing of Lester's escape.
In spite of baffling critics-and not finding many casual film viewers willing to say they enjoyed it! the film was a surprise hit and opened as the number two movie in North America. It went on to gross over $117 million at the box office and subsequently ensured that a sequel would follow down the line (it arrived in 2006). The film isn't pretending to be anything other than the mindless comedy it is. If viewed on those terms then it can be enjoyed. Sure some of the gags are puerile, and Lawrence is an acquired taste, tho his energy and comedy timing are first rate here. But it does work to a degree. It's been done better in the likes of Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire, and the plot, with it's boorish romantic strand, is merely an excuse for "Big Momma" to get into daft scrapes. Yet the action is nicely staged and the pace of the piece never sags. There's also fun to be had in watching Giamatti & Howard looking like they just know they should be doing better stuff than this!.
Forgettable juvenile fluff for sure, but likable enough; in that brain at the door-bucket of popcorn-way. 6/10
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