Film: Norbit

Here lies Eddie Murphy's career.
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 Allen 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 an 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. The two are separated when she is adopted. Not long afterward, Norbit meets self-centered, domineering 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. Kate as it happens, 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.

Norbit was a commercial success but the film was blasted by critics, largely for its subject matter, and Murphy picked up three Razzies for his various performances. Murphy had been considered a lock to win an Oscar for his role in Dreamgirls the same year; when he lost, many suggested the release of Norbit during the balloting process was to blame.

This film provides examples of:

  • Academy Award: Believe it or not, the film received an Oscar nomination, albeit for Best Makeup. (given that Rick Baker did the make up, this isn't that hard to believe. Rasputia in a bikini, unpleasant though she may look, is extremely convincing, and Murphy is only recognizable by his voice as Rasputia.) So technically, we could refer to it as "The Academy Award-nominated Norbit." (At the ceremony, host Jon Stewart noted: "Even Norbit got a nomination, which I think is great. Too often the Academy ignores movies that aren't good.") Fortunately, the only trophies it collected were Murphy's three Razzies.
  • The Baby Trap: Rasputia uses this on Norbit when he is about to leave her. But we the audience 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 tells him, and loses it when he stands up for himself and calls her "fat, ugly bitch". Even her brothers are scared of her.
  • Big Bad: Rasputia. Amusingly, she may also qualify as The Heavy since while she's the biggest (no pun intended) threat to Norbit, the brothers handle the money, their company, and business in general.
  • 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.
  • Black Comedy Rape
  • The Brute: All of Rasputia's brothers qualify. Rasputia herself qualifies too.
  • 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: "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 Wong sends her fleeing after spearing her in the ass. They have no trouble running her brothers out of town.
  • Childhood Friend Romance
  • Cool Loser: Norbit. The fact that Rasputia has to threaten a kid so he picks Norbit over a kid with a halo illustrates his status as one.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Deion turns out to be a self-centered, unfaithful dick who wants 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 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 Lattimores. 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's 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 the pug and another one during Kate and Deion's wedding, when Norbit initially failed to expose Deion's unscrupulousness.
  • Extreme Doormat: Norbit until the end.
  • Fan Disservice: The Movie.
  • Fat Bitch: Rasputia.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Gold Digger: Deion
  • Gonk: Rasputia.
  • Henpecked Husband: The entire premise.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her... / Big Brother Instinct: "I'm coming at you with razor blades and lemon juice, boy."
  • Jerkass: Rasputia.
    • Deion as well. He made a deal with Rasputia's brothers that he'll transform 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.
  • Kick the Dog: Rasputia runs over Lloyd with her car, breaking his legs, for no reason.
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • Nice Guy: Norbit.
  • Nobody Poops: Inverted. Norbit and Kate actually do it together as kids.
  • 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.
    • Fear obviously. Rasputia's a total control freak and sees Norbit as more her property then a husband. Doesn't help that he's way too meek to stick up for himself.
  • 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."
  • Red-and-White Comedy Poster
  • Running Gag: Norbert quietly calls her a bitch. Pretending he's shouting it to her.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Taken Up to Eleven.
  • Scary Black Man: Any of Rasputia's brothers can be considered this.
  • Stealth Pun: Since both Norbit and Rasputia are played by Eddie Murphy, Eddie simply went to Go fuck himself.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Norbit when he gets home from his date with Kate and Jack can't even hold back a laugh when he tells him, "I'd hate to be you now". Later, after [[spoiler: Rasputia flees when Wong harpoons her, Jack quietly mumbles "We dead," as the town rallies to chase them out.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Norbit and Kate at the end of the movie.
  • 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 ass 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.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Kate