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Bringing Down the House (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 7 March 2003 (USA)
2:16 | Trailer

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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.



4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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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 won 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)


$132,541,238 (USA) (25 July 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The german title of the movie would translate to "house over the head". See more »


After Peter tries to lock Charlene outside of the house when he first meets her, he tackles her and then throws her in the bushes. After telling the noisy neighbor that everything is fine, Peter starts walking her back inside. From the shot outside the house, Peter has nothing in his hands. But when they step inside, he magically has one of her shoes in his hand and he sets it on the table. See more »


Peter Sanderson: [nervously] Don't you just love being our nanny, Charlene?
Charlene Morton: [pauses]
[speaking in a fake Southern Accent]
Charlene Morton: Yessir. I'm gonna go on down to de pool wit' de children. Make fun of de white folks again.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to residents of McCadden Place. See more »


References A Man and a Woman (1966) See more »


A Man and a Woman
Written by Francis Lai, Pierre Barouh and Jerry Keller
Performed by Gene Merlino and Melissa MacKay
See more »

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User Reviews

Really something, Boo.
18 March 2006 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

OK, so the white-yuppie-and-black-ghetto-person-joining-up idea has been used a number of times in movies, but the dialog between Steve Martin and Queen Latifah makes this one worthwhile. Probably the best scenes are Betty White's nasty comments, Queen Latifah teaching Missi Pyle a lesson, Steve Martin dressed - and attempting to talk - like a rapper (especially because of what Joan Plowright ends up doing in that scene), and of course, Eugene Levy's statements ending with "Boo". "Bringing Down the House" really does bring down the house. Completely silly, but fun nevertheless.

Who ever would have imagined Joan Plowright (aka Laurence Olivier's widow) doing what she did and saying what she said in the rapper scene?

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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RACIST butterfinger
my favourite line, how about you? Kindella
He shudda ended up with Charlene because... denx
Racial? Why typecast? laurinK
Why did Steve Martin do this film? niquems
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