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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
An uneven comedy, but it has more laughs than I expected
I was in my early teens when this was released ten years ago, and I never heard of it at the time. In early 2006, I went to the theatre while this movie's sequel, "Big Momma's House 2", was playing, but since I had never seen the original by this point and could see that the sequel was widely hated, it was obviously not the movie I was going to see. Instead, I went to see "The Matador" on that particular trip to the movie theatre. It took me over four years after that to get around to watching the original "Big Momma's House", and just before seeing it, I had low expectations, thinking it would probably be a very unfunny comedy, even if it wasn't absolutely terrible. However, while it's unsurprisingly not that great, I did laugh.
Malcolm Turner is an FBI agent who is very skilled in disguising himself for undercover operations. After it is announced that a murderer and robber named Lester Vesco has just escaped from prison, where he was serving his life sentence, Malcolm and fellow FBI agent John Maxwell are sent to catch him. The FBI believes that the criminal's ex-girlfriend, Sherry Pierce, was also involved in criminal activity, but they haven't been able to prove it. Malcolm and John go to the neighbourhood in Georgia where Sherry's morbidly obese grandmother, Hattie Mae Pierce (a.k.a. Big Momma) lives, and begin to spy on her. Sherry is on her way to her grandmother's house with her son, Trent, but before they arrive, Big Momma leaves town unexpectedly, so Malcolm decides to pose as the feisty elderly woman! He takes on her lifestyle while trying to get the truth from Sherry, and also finds himself falling for the criminal's ex-girlfriend!
Before it is announced that Lester has escaped from prison and Malcolm and John go to spy on Big Momma's house, the film begins with the two FBI agents busting a dog fight, and I guess parts of this sequence are somewhat funny, but no more than that. The film continues to be mostly straight-faced after this, as we learn about the escaped prisoner, the two agents are sent on their mission, and Malcolm disguises himself as Big Momma. The early part where Malcolm has to hide in the shower while Big Momma defecates is memorable, but not in a good way. For a while, it didn't seem like I would be able to give "Big Momma's House" a rating higher than 5/10. I frequently snickered, but it didn't look like I would ever find any BIG laughs in the film. However, that eventually changed. While it's still not that consistent later on, it certainly can be funny with the things Malcolm has to do while in disguise, including a baby delivery. The scene with Sherry seeing Malcolm as himself and the FBI agent claiming to be a handyman is also a really funny part. The story and characters can also be interesting.
This 2000 release is definitely not generally considered one of the great modern-day comedies, and after seeing it, I can understand why, but I've seen much worse excuses for comedy. I wouldn't have been too surprised if I had thought "Big Momma's House" was really lame when I watched it, but while I'm sure many people think it is, I can't say I do. It is uneven, but sometimes funny. Also, there isn't nearly as much juvenile toilet humour in the movie as that one defecation scene suggests! Martin Lawrence plays the lead role here. I haven't seen him in any other film and have only seen a bit of his stand-up comedy, so I'm not that familiar with his work, but think he does a pretty good job with his performance here. This film is a little cheesy and doesn't have the most original plot, and more thought could have been put into the ending as well, but if you want a silly, raunchy comedy, this particular one might work, at least in some parts.
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