Film / Norbit

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Norbit is a 2007 comedy film, directed Brian Robbins and starring Eddie Murphy in both leading roles, a la The Nutty Professor.

The film opens with Norbit Albert Rice's (Murphy) parents throwing him to the front of an orphanage from the car door as a baby. Norbit grows up there, which is run by a stereotypical Asian man who cannot pronounce "L" (also played by Murphy). He falls in love with fellow orphan Kate Thomas (Thandie Newton) and the two, as children, eventually pretend to marry each other with Ring Pops under a tree. Eventually, the two are separated when she is adopted. Not long afterward, Norbit meets self-centered, domineering, evil Fat Bastard Rasputia Latimore (ALSO played by Murphy), who comes from a family of black racketeers. Norbit wallows in misery while being married to her until Kate turns up one day. As it happens, Kate is engaged to sneaky, slick-talking businessman Dion Hughes (Cuba Gooding, Jr.). But Norbit is not to be dissuaded and he starts aiming to edge away from Rasputia and win Kate back, as well as foiling a sabotage plan on the orphanage constructed by Rasputia and her brothers.


This film provides examples of:

  • The Baby Trap: Rasputia uses this on Norbit when he is about to leave her. But we all know that it's a lie.
    • She even forgets about it shortly after and says it was just gas.
  • Badass Grandpa: Mr. Wong, the orphanage owner. When Rasputia's brothers try to take his orphanage and threaten him, he leaps up onto the table wielding a harpoon and is about the only one in town they're afraid of (besides their sister). Wong is also known to fearlessly and frequently insult Rasputia (by calling her a fat gorilla) face-to-face whenever they meet, something the townspeople and her brothers won't even think about doing. In the end, he defeats Rasputia by harpooning her in the "blow hole".
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Norbit when he works for Rasputia's brothers.
  • Berserk Button: Rasputia doesn't like it when Norbit doesn't do what she says and loses it when he stands up for himself. Rasputia is so mean that even her own brothers are scared of her.
  • Big Bad: Rasputia. Amusingly, she may also qualify as The Heavy since she is the biggest (no pun intended) threat to Norbit, as well as the one who is actually handling the money, her brothers' company, and business in general as she is the one who had secretly come up with the orphanage sabotage plan and simply told her brothers to pass it off as their own plan.
  • Big Eater: One doesn't grow to be Rasputia's size without being this. Amusingly, as a child, she was delegated to eating only the wing of the turkey by her oldest brother.
  • Bully Hunter: Mr. Wong, who is the only person in town brave enough to stand up to the Latimores.
  • Butt-Monkey: Norbit, pretty much throughout his life.
  • Catch-Phrase: Rasputia has one: "How YOU doin'?"
  • Chased by Angry Natives: Rasputia was the only reason the town never took action against the Latimores (until the climax at least). Once Mr. Wong sends her fleeing after spearing her from behind, they have no problem running her brothers out of town.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Norbit and Kate, who beat the odds and get married at the end of the film.
  • Chubby Chaser: The "power tap guru" who Rasputia cheats on Norbit with.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Rasputia is more than a little crazy.
    Rasputia: (can barely fit in her car) Damn it, Norbit! How many times I gotta tell you, don't be messin' with my car seat?!
    Norbit: Nobody touched your old, stupid seat.
    Rasputia: Then how come it's all mushed up like this then?
    Norbit: Well you know, Rasputia, you've bee eating so much lately, it's a very strong possibility that—
    Rasputia: (immediately gives him a Death Glare)
    Norbit: (backtracks) he —the car is shrinking. Might be shrinking. The car is getting smaller.
    Rasputia: ...Yeah, you might be right. Been rainin' a lot lately. All this moist weather.
    Norbit: Oh yeah, that'll make it shrink.
    Rasputia: The weather's so moist.
  • Cool Loser: Norbit. The fact that Rasputia has to threaten a boy so he picks Norbit over a boy with a halo illustrates his status as one.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Deion turns out to be a self-centered, unfaithful jerk who is involved in a plan to turn Norbit's orphanage into a strip club and has several children with different women.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Throughout the film, Rasputia abuses Norbit both physically, sexually and emotionally. Although we're supposed to feel sorry for him, most of the abuse is played for laughs. But if the genders were reversed, then it would be a different story...
  • Downer Ending: Averted for the Latimores. Yes, they lose and get chased out of town and never bother Norbit again, but they end up opening a successful strip club, which was their motive in the film, albeit they opened it in Mexico. Nevertheless, they seem well-adjusted and happy enough.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Poor Norbit goes through a lot. But in the end, he is finally free of Rasputia's hold on him and can marry his true sweetheart Kate.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The brothers may fear their sister, but they still stick together to the very end of the film.
  • Evil Laugh: Rasputia did one after she maimed Lloyd and another one during Kate and Deion's wedding when Norbit initially failed to expose Deion's unscrupulousness.
  • Expy: Norbit shares some similarities with Jiff Ramsey, another Black and Nerdy Eddie Murphy character.
  • Extreme Doormat: Norbit until the end when he is willing to make a stand in front of the entire town and publicly call out Rasputia.
  • Fat Comic Relief: Rasputia is a walking example of this trope, with countless jokes at the expense of her obesity. Though the movie can never decide on what her actual weight is thanks to her weight being Played for Laughs: she does not break the water slide she rides which has a 300 lb weight limit, but not only appears much bigger than that, but frequently seems like she weighs about 300 lbs more than that.
  • 5 Bad Band: Rasputia is the largest and most physical threat, making her the Big Bad, as well as The Brute (though she is The Heavy of the story). Big Black Jack serves as the leader of the Latimore Brothers. Blue serves as both The Dragon, being Jack's right-hand man, and also The Evil Genius as Rasputia even says he is the smartest brother. Earl is The Dark Chick, pretty much too unfocused to do anything right. Deion is the Sixth Ranger.
  • Gold Digger: Deion - he marries rich women only for their money, then makes a killing off of divorce settlements.
  • The Heavy: Rasputia.
  • Henpecked Husband: The entire premise.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Mr. Wong had Norbit play in MSG/with severed duck heads as a kid and had him carry around a cardboard whale to use as target practice. And that is before Norbit met Rasputia.
  • Hypocrite: Rasputia - she cheats on Norbit and gaslights him when he confronts her about it, but acts very controlling and threatening as soon as Kate enters the picture.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Jack outlines this pretty clearly during Norbit's wedding to Rasputia. "I'm coming at you with razor blades and lemon juice, boy."
  • Implied Death Threat: After finding him on his date with Kate, Rasputia threatens violence against her should Norbit ever see her again by way of pouring acid on a potato doll of Kate.
  • Jerkass:
    • Rasputia.
    • The Latimore Brothers.
    • Deion. He made a deal with Rasputia's brothers to turn Mr. Wong's orphanage into a strip club once he marries Kate. He was also revealed to have married a few women, only to divorce them and made a lot of money through divorce settlements while neglecting his own children with them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mr. Wong, who's a racist, abrasive old coot, but he still loves Norbit and Kate and is a good father to them.
  • Kick the Dog: Rasputia runs over Lloyd with her car, breaking his legs, for eyeballing her.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Mr. Wong, Mrs. Henderson, and some of the local vendors do this during the moment mentioned below, even though most of them, except for Wong, prove to be no match for Rasputia. Bonus points for Mrs. Henderson swinging purses around and going "BRING IT, BITCHES!"
  • Manipulative Bastard: Rasputia, her brothers, and Deion. Rasputia manipulates Norbit into following her commands, Rasputia's brothers manipulate Deion (and later, Norbit) into signing the contract, and Deion manipulates Kate into marrying him for her money.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: The entire town gets one when Norbit finally stands up to Rasputia and reveals her and her brother's plan. Yeah, most of them are no match for her, but when she's defeated, they make up for it by chasing her brothers down and making them pay. Also counts as a The Dog Bites Back moment for the entire town.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Though literally eclipsed by the disservice of Rasputia, there are some nice scenes with Thandie Newton. Granted, viewers who are Chubby Chaser's may enjoy scenes with Rasputia, particularly in the water park sequence when she spends the entire time in a revealing bikini (and the makeup and special effects portray her obesity pretty convincingly).
  • Never My Fault: Nothing is Rasputia's fault, according to her. Her status as a rampant Villainous Glutton and her obesity is clearly to blame for her not fitting in her own car, but she chalks it up to the car shrinking.
  • Nobody Poops: Inverted. Norbit and Kate actually do it together as children.
  • Oh, Crap!: Rasputia's brothers after she flees from the town after getting speared in the behind. Since she was the only thing holding the townspeople off, their reaction is pretty justified.
  • Parental Abandonment: Norbit's parents dropped him off at the orphanage by throwing him out of the car.....without stopping it or even slowing down.....and laughing as they drove away. Geez even in childhood, the poor guy never caught a break.
  • Plot Hole: Several audience members had to question why Norbit stayed with Raspustia after finding out she lied about being pregnant. That was the only reason he was staying with her so why didn't he just go.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: "Yes, Wong very racist. Don't like black. Don't like Jew either. But blacks and Jews love Chinese food. Go figure."
  • Running Gag: Norbert quietly calls her a bitch. Pretending he is shouting it to her.
  • Scary Black Man: Any of Rasputia's brothers can be considered this.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Norbit when he gets home from his date with Kate and Big Black Jack cannot even hold back a laugh when he tells him, "I'd hate to be you now." Later, after Rasputia flees when Mr. Wong harpoons her, Jack quietly mumbles, "We dead." as the town rallies to chase them out.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Rasputia is enormously overweight, compared to the very skinny Norbit.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Norbit and Kate at the end of the film.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Rasputia has proven to be a total tank that not even a crowd of people can stop her. What finally does? A spear thrown into her butt by Mr. Wong, which sends her running like a chicken.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Deion. After he was chased by his ex-wives and children, his fate was never mentioned.
  • Worthy Opponent: Mr. Wong is the only man in town that the Latimore Brothers respect and genuinely fear since he is not afraid to stand up to them with a harpoon.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Kate
  • Yellowface: Murphy as Wong.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Norbit