Friday, September 29, 2006

Saying No to Norbit

Call me prudish or hypercritical, whatever - but I do not find bodily function/ body part jokes in movies amusing. From the fart jokes on every day to tv and the ubiquitous PG-13 movies up to and including the vomiting walrus in "50 First Dates", and all the boob shots, crotch kicks and endless crap in between, I just don't find any of it funny. I am always disgusted and frankly, offended. I am well aware that it's just not fashionable to be genuinely "offended" by anything these days nonetheless, these are gut reactions, and I don't choose my response to this idiocy. Most times I'm prepared to laugh along just because the word "comedy" is a part of the movie description, however sometimes, I am caught by surprise when my laughter stops short and I am appalled into silence

Last night, I watched the trailer for a new Eddie Murphy movie called "Norbit" (a synopsis can be found here at Worst Previews. Trust me, the trailer more than earned it's spot on this site.). Again, I watched the trailer prepared to laugh simply because it mentioned Eddie Murphy and who doesn't know the name Eddie Murphy means comedy? I was quickly let down as it seems Eddie is up to his old tricks from the Nutty Professor, but instead of playing an enormously fat man, he's playing an enourmously fat woman, forgetting that Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry have already run that lame joke into the ground and it wasn't funny the first time. OK, Medea isn't as bad as Big Mama but as far as I'm concerned, Perry treads a thin line at times. The morals and feel good endings don't always justify the cheap laugh means in Perry's movies either.

But back to Norbit (link goes to the official site for the movie, MeetNorbit.com.) The trailer alone is so hideously disrespectful of black people in general (I'm tired of "black" movies playing to the lowest common denominator) and particularly large black women -please note: I'm a large, black woman- so I was distinctly not amused. After watching the trailer I only had one question.

Me to Ye Old Matey: Eddie Murphy's wife divorced him, didn't she?
Ye Old Matey: Yes.
Me: Now I know why.
Ye Old Matey: Why?
Me: Have you seen the trailer for his new movie?
Ye Old Matey: No. Why?
Me: When you see it you'll understand.

If you haven't seen the trailer, you're lucky. I'm sure it will be everywhere soon. I feel sorry for the parent who has to explain this one to their preschooler and for the squick factor coming for any multi-generational family who winds up viewing this trailer together.

If you find this sort of thing funny, then more power to your funny bone. To each his own, live and let live, yet my opinion stands. Sight unseen, I feel more than comfortable saying Eddie Murphy has done, could have done and should have done better than this latest monstrosity.

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