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Big Momma’s Like Father Like Son (A Movie Review)

Updated: Mar 12

Big Momma's Like Father Like Son

Big Momma’s Like Father Like Son


Starring Martin Lawrence, Brandon T. Jackson, Jessica Lucas, Portia Doubleday, Tony Curran, Ana Ortiz, Faizon Love, Emily Rios, Michelle Ang, Max Kinsella, Emily Rios, Henri Lubattui, Lorenzo Pisoni, Marc John Jefferies, Brandon Gill, Zack Mines, Trey Lindsey, Sherri Shepherd and Ken Jeong.

Screenplay by Matthew Fogel.

Directed by John Whitesell.

Distributed by 20th Century Fox.  107 minutes.  Rated PG-13.

It appears to be something of a rite of passage for African-American comedians to get into drag to play an usually overweight, usually older woman.  It has been done by Eddie Murphy (several times, including The Nutty Professor and Norbit), Tyler Perry (the Madea movies), the Wayans Brothers (White Chicks), Cedric the Entertainer (Cedric the Entertainer Presents), Keenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), Miguel Nuñez (Juwanna Mann) and Jamie Foxx (In Living Color).

Martin Lawrence has done it many times himself with a character on his sitcom Martin and two previous Big Momma’s House films on his résumé.  While no one in the world was really waiting around for the further adventures of the Big Momma character, Like Father Like Son makes it a trilogy as Lawrence pulls his muumuu and fat suit out of mothballs.  And it introduces a new generation of comedian to cross dressing, allowing Brandon Jackson to play his son and partner in gender confusion.

Now personally, I find very little about men in drag funny.  In fact, I don’t like movies where white actors go in drag any more than the above mentioned titles – I’m talking to you, Mrs. Doubtfire.  To me, only two movies along those lines have ever worked, but they were classics – Some Like It Hot and Tootsie – and it was not because of the man in the dress but the quality of the writing.  A man dressed in women’s clothes is not funny in and of itself, you have to do something with the conceit to make it worth anyone’s time.

This makes you wonder why another Big Momma movie is coming out five years after Big Momma’s House 2 bombed.

To make things even more inexplicable, the story stops dead periodically to break into complicated pseudo-Glee/High School Musical dance routines.

Particularly odd was one in which the entire cafeteria starts dancing wildly and for some reason Big Momma ends up frugging on a lunch table – which eventually collapses under the weight.  That’s hysterical, right?  Because she’s fat, get it?  But wait, isn’t she just a skinny man wearing a fat suit?  So why did the table collapse? 

Apparently the filmmakers don’t realize that a fat suit could not possibly weigh as much as an actual fat person does, otherwise no one would be able to wear one of the outfits.  More likely, they couldn’t even be bothered to spend even a moment considering simple, obvious facts like this one.

And you know what, if they can’t be bothered then neither can I.  There is nothing overtly offensive about Big Momma’s Like Father Like Son, but it is just so blandly mediocre that there is no real reason to spend your precious time on watching it.

Alex Diamond

Copyright ©2011 All rights reserved. Posted: May 20, 2011.


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