Bringing Down the House (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  7 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 29,056 users   Metascore: 39/100
Reviews: 233 user | 119 critic | 31 from

When a lonely guy meets a woman on the internet who happens to be in prison, she breaks out to be with him, and proceeds to wreak havoc on his middle-class life.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Tobias
Aengus James ...
Widow's Bodyguard
Widow's Bodyguard


Peter Sanderson is a divorced, straight-laced, uptight attorney who still loves his ex-wife and can't figure out what he did wrong to make her leave him. However, Peter's trying to move on, and he's smitten with a brainy, bombshell barrister he's been chatting with online. However, when she comes to his house for their first face-to-face, she isn't refined, isn't Ivy League, and isn't even a lawyer. Instead, it's Charlene, a prison escapee who's proclaiming her innocence and wants Peter to help her clear her name. But Peter wants nothing to do with her, prompting the loud and shocking Charlene to turn Peter's perfectly ordered life upside down, jeopardizing his effort to get back with his wife and woo a billion dollar client. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everything he needed to know about life, she learned in prison. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, sexual humor and drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Houze  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$31,101,026 (USA) (7 March 2003)


$884,848 (South Africa) (12 September 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Steve Martin, Angus T. Jones, and Missi Pyle are from Texas. Queen Latifah is from New Jersey, Eugene Levy is from Canada, Jean Smart is from Washington, Kimberley J. Brown is from Maryland, and Joan Plowright is from England. See more »


When Charlene uses the speed dial on Peter's cell phone, you can hear the tones as a number is being dialed. You can't hear the tones for the numbers if you do that in real life. See more »


[guns fired]
Mrs. Arness: Pussies
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to residents of McCadden Place. See more »


References Casino Royale (1967) See more »


Ain't Nobody
Written by Hawk Wolinski (as David J. Woliniski)
Produced by Rick Dutch Cousin
Performed by Kelly Price
Courtesy of Def Jam/Def Soul Records
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User Reviews

Clichéd to the Core but Latifah, Martin and Plowright Add Their Own Touch
25 March 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

This is pretty much another one of those typical culture clash comedies where a streetsmart character meets the classy rich character, there's conflict and then the conflict is resolved and friendship blossoms, then there's another conflict but that too is resolved by the end. The story has been told x number of times. But what makes 'Bringing Down The House' likable is Queen Latifah, Steve Martin and Joan Plowright. These three provide some laugh-out-loud moments some including Martin and Latifah's dance number, Martin dressing and talking 'black', Queen Latifah and Missy Pyle's catfight and doing a break-dance, Plowright's pompous and stuck up character getting stoned, Peter's neighbour catching him and Charlene in a compromising position. The chemistry between Latifah and Martin is convincing and both have a good comic timing. Thus, even though the story has nothing new to offer, the funny moments make 'Bringing Down The House' fun to watch.

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my favourite line, how about you? Kindella
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