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Reviews for the week of June 5, 2000.

Monday:
Big Momma's House

Big Momma's House
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The last I heard of actor/comedian Martin Lawrence, he was in the hospital after overdoing a diet. According to news reports, he was attempting to lose weight for a movie role.

Obviously, they weren't referring to his role in Big Momma's House, in which he is Malcolm, an undercover FBI agent who poses as a very obese old woman.

Now why would a nice old lady be under suspicion by the FBI? Her long-lost granddaughter (Nia Long), on the run since her dangerous bank-robber boyfriend escaped jail, is heading to grandma's house. When Big Momma leaves on a trip, Malcolm dons a fat suit, a wig, and a big, gaudy dress, to make his entrance as Big Momma.

Naturally, this setup leads to some hilarious scenes. For starters, Malcolm has to deter Big Momma's doting boyfriend, plus avoid her gossip-group friends. When Long shows up with her young son, Malcolm has to do a convincing job of behaving exactly like Big Momma. (It's a good thing Long hasn't seen her grandmother in years!)

If there's one thing that will discourage moviegoers from eating greasy, butter-drenched popcorn (aside from the fact that it's unhealthy and, in my opinion, tastes gross), it's the sight of Big Momma filling a frying pan with cooking lard, cooking oil, and a big stick of butter. Ugh - who could eat food prepared like that? Gag me!

Big Momma's House makes the FBI look like a bunch of bumbling idiots (Malcolm's partner is particularly clueless) and proves unrealistic in countless ways. This is like The Silence of the Lambs meets The Three Stooges - or two stooges, in this case.

Never mind the slightly hokey and very predictable plot, Big Momma's House does provide laughs. The only prerequisite for enjoying this movie: You must have a good sense of humor concerning gross bathroom jokes. In one scene, Malcolm is trapped in the bathroom with the real Big Momma - who, shall we say, has eaten too many prunes.

Audio VersionHere's a good rule of thumb: If you found Austin Powers II funny, you'll probably like Big Momma's House. I'm a big Austin Powers fan, and I loved Big Momma's House.

My Rating = Three Stars

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