Picture from Norbit
Overall D

No one would really like to live with him or her self, or so the movie Norbit appears to prove. Staring as both a husband and overbearing wife, Eddie Murphy tries to wiggle out of the marriage once he meets dreamy Kate (Thandie Newton) and discovers his wife in bed with another man. Likewise, the filmmakers may also have a difficult time wiggling out of the potential criticism for the many mean-spirited ethnic and religious portrayals in this film.

Violence C-
Sexual Content C-
Profanity C-
Substance Use B-

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, some nudity and language. (The film was originally rated R, but was edited for re-rating.)

Talk to your kids about…


Eddie Murphy, Tyler Perry, and Martin Lawrence have all portrayed the obese African-American matriarch. Mel Watkins, the author of “On the Real Side: A History of African-American Comedy” justified these types of depictions in the Philadelphia Daily News by saying:

“There’s a humorous tradition about aggressive black women. It goes back to the 19th-century minstrel shows, even when the minstrel shows didn’t have black performers. They would do it in blackface ... It showed black women to be unattractive and the black man to be weak because he was controlled by his woman. It’s been part of Americana for a hundred years and will remain as such because nobody seems to be interested in getting rid of it.”

How do you feel about his observations? Do you feel this “tradition” is beneficial, just benign, or guilty of perpetuating a negative stereotype?