Bottom Line: A 98-minute “yo momma” joke.
“Oh no! Not in Big Momma’s house!” –Ella Mitchell as Big Momma
Directed by: Raja Gosnell
Starring: Anthony Anderson, Carl Wright, Ella Mitchell, Jascha Washington, Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Paul Giamatti, Phyllis Applegate, Starletta DuPois, Terrence Dashon Howard
BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE is a deliberately dumb, yet unforgivably funny comedy that subtly compiles every decent “yo momma” joke in the book, and pairs it with a clearer sense of humor that is undeniably crude in multiple respects. It’s surprising that despite the excessive amount of bathroom jokes, and the opening dogfight sequence in which the only attending Caucasian is treated like a dog, the film manages to entertain at a satisfactory level.
The plot wavers on the verge of performing as merely a nonsensical cop spoof. Two cops are sent to stake out the home of “Big Momma” (Ella Mitchell), an elderly and obese woman, after her daughter Sherry’s ex-boyfriend has escaped from prison by committing two more crimes. After Big Momma leaves, Sherry calls to announce she is coming to visit. In order to protect Sherry, one of the cops (Martin Lawrence) constructs a fat suit and dresses up as Big Momma.
It’s quite difficult to assess such a stupidly entertaining comedy. Anyone who enjoys the obnoxious humor of the modern Adam Sandler should have a ball with BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE. I enjoyed it, even though it did grow a bit tiresome and it used stupidity as an outstanding principle in its humor. With that said, this is a film that doesn’t have both hemispheres of its cinematic brain developed, but it is quite entertaining. It’s like listening to a person who is downright stupid, but sometimes goes far enough with his or her idiocy to crack a smile.
Postscript: I know what you’re thinking right now: this film certainly does not belong in the ilk of what I usually watch. I bought this as a “Christmas anti-gift” for my mother this past year, and it wasn’t until last night after I watched The Woman in Black that she decided to watch it. I had also bought Annie Hall for my Woody-phobic father and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? for my horse-loving sister (as anti-gifts). Awful, right?