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Big Momma's House

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Big Momma's House

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Nia Long
Director: Raja Gosnell
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: June 2000
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Jascha Washington, Ella Mitchell, Terrence DaShon Howard, Paul Giamatti, Eric Linden

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1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewmovie review
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Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

If you're a die-hard Martin Lawrence fan, you'll appreciate this movie. If not, forget it. Lawrence plays FBI agent Malcolm Turner, who has built a reputation as a master of disguises. When he's sent to a small town in Georgia to capture a bank robber who's escaped from prison, he sets up a stakeout near the home of the con's girl-friend's long-lost grandmother (Ella Mitchell), an old woman known as Big Momma. Only Big Momma's not around. So Turner decides to go deep undercover and impersonate the hefty Southern matriarch, including cooking soul food, singing gospel, even delivering babies. The result is an outrageous romantic farce because, predictably, Turner experiences an emotional transformation, falls for the girl-friend, a single mother played by lovely Nia Long ("Boiler Room"), befriends her son and struts on the basketball court: "Grandma knows she's got game!" Of course, when the real Big Momma surfaces, a stunned onlooker chirps, "Are you the Doublemint twins?" The screenplay by Darryl Quarles and Don Rhymer, based on a story by Quarles, serves primarily as a vehicle for Martin Lawrence's riff on Eddie Murphy's "Nutty Professor" concept of playing several different characters. And if it looks derivative, perhaps it's because director Raja Gosnell served as editor on "Mrs. Doubtfire," while Big Momma's make-up and prosthetics are the work of "Mrs. Doubtfire" Oscar-winner, Greg Cannom. Cannom's also responsible for transforming Lawrence into an Asian man for the opening sequence in which Turner busts an illegal dog fighting ring. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Big Momma's House" is a sporadically funny 5 - and, yes, the fat lady sings!

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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