Release Date: February 9, 2007
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Movie of the Day for Wednesday, January 17, 2007
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Maybe some of this stuff explains Eddie's propensity to pick up transsexuals.

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Yet another Eddie Murphy comedy where we get to see Eddie Murphy playing multiple Eddie Murphy-like caricatures, at least one of which requires a fat-suit. However, this one could be better than his latest string of mediocre efforts. Or it could be worse. We have great hopes that Murphy will return to his raunchy roots in this film, something closer to 48 Hours than The Nutty Professor, but then again, the formula for Dr. Doolittle seems to yield a safe, financially successful project.

The basic story involves Norbit, a meek and hen-pecked man, and his monstrously offensive girlfriend who eventually forces him into marriage. Murphy plays both characters. Norbit later meets the woman of his dreams and has to figure out how to extricate himself from his wife.

With a larger cast than Crash, the movie promises to have some great comedic moments. Other credited actors include: Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II; Crash), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire; Radio), Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother; Scary Movie 3), Terry Crews (Soul Plane; Idiocracy), and Michael Colyar (Barbershop TV show).

Rawson Marshall Thurber, who directed the surprise hit Dodgeball (2004) was originally slated to direct this movie, but the project was later handed over to Brian Robbins, who is best known for Varsity Blues (1999) and The Shaggy Dog (2006). Thurber was an interesting first choice as a director and likely would've given Norbit the same saracastic, slightly raunchy edge that carried Dodgeball so well. The fact that he was replaced by someone who's latest effort was a Tim Allen comedy does not bode well for those of us who found The Haunted Mansion (2003) such a depressing waste of Eddie Murphy's talent. However, Murphy and Robbins apparently had good chemistry on the set - Robbins was recently selected to helm Murphy's next big movie, Starship Dave, set to begin production in early 2007.

The script also took an interesting turn. Eddie and Charlie Murphy (Eddie's older brother) wrote the first script, which was later picked up for a rewrite by Jay Scherick and David Ronn, the writing team behind Guess Who (2005). Scherick and Ronn recently signed on with DreamWorks to write the bigscreen adaptation of the Baywatch TV series, and you might know Charlie Murphy as the victim of Rick James's rage on Chappelle's Show.

So, in the end, we have a film with the potential to be a good - or even great - comedy based on a collection of interesting elements. But whether those elements can be carefully arranged and fine-tuned into a well-crafted machine remains to be seen. (Joel Corcoran/BOP)

Vital statistics for Norbit
Main Cast Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding Jr.
Supporting Cast Eddie Griffin, Terry Crews
Director Brian Robbins
Screenwriter Eddie Murphy, Charlie Murphy, Jay Scherick, David Ronn
Distributor DreamWorks
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Screen Count 3,136
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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