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I watched the commercials. I read the reviews. Norbit was a bomb. Few people saw it; fewer people cared. But was there anything redeeming in the film? Is there some reason that anyone, if only die-hard Eddie Murphy, should see this movie?

Nope. Every bit is lukewarm—and it's all been done before.

Murphy, who seems to have single-handedly established both the multiple-character (Coming to America) and cross-gender (The Nutty Professor) film styles, just can't quite get enough of playing a fat woman opposite himself. Unfortunately, he brought along some of his famous friends for a trip on this seven-years-too-late sinking ship. Why Thandie Newton, a cast member of 2004's Best Picture, Crash, and 1997's Best Supporting Actor, Cuba Gooding, Jr., would ever agree to star in such a sure-fire dud is beyond me, but there they are alongside Murphy, Murphy and, oh yes, Murphy.

Orphan Norbit (Murphy) grows up in relative passivity until he catches his wife, Rasputia (Murphy), cheating. He then falls in love with a recently returned childhood love (Newton) and tries to figure a way out. It's not a terribly inspired story.

And I wish I could say the jokes are funny, but much like the genres Murphy himself helped to create, his one-liners are tired. And tired is what you'll be if you manage to sit through the entire 102 minutes of 0.


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