Starring: Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Elton LeBlanc, Emily
Procter, Mark Moses. Rated PG-13.
In “Beyond Blunderdome,” an episode of The Simpsons featuring Mel Gibson, it is
revealed that Homer sends fan letters to movies – not actors, not directors,
but the movies themselves. Following in that glorious tradition, I have chosen
to send an open letter to the new Martin Lawrence movie, Big Momma’s House 2.
Big Momma’s House 2,
me start by saying that it’s been too long. Six years
have passed since Big Momma’s House
became the first movie about a cross-dressing septuagenarian wearing a
prosthetic fat suit to gross more than $200 million in the theaters. I always
knew you’d come back, but I never thought it would take this long. No matter.
Grab a cup of tea and have a seat. There should be a free chair right between Deuce
Bigalow: European Gigolo and Air
Why are they here, you ask? Oh, simple. They are movies with
no ostensible reason to exist – just like you! Don’t cry, Momma. You’re going to attract plenty of paying customers,
and that’s the point, isn’t it? I think we can both agree that there was no
artistic need for a sequel to Big Momma’s House, but here you are, wringing laughs out of all those
rolls of fake blubber.
Needless to say, Mr. Lawrence is thrilled that you’re back,
and he has an interesting theory about why you stayed away for so long. “First
and foremost, the ingredients for a sequel had to be right,” he says in your
press notes. “The script had to be funny. Very funny. And fortunately, it was.”
See! You’ve already made one person very happy and, most likely, very rich. And
he’s earned every penny – after all, Mr. Lawrence is pretty much the only thing
you have to offer. Last time around, you had heavy hitters like Paul Giamatti,
Terrence Howard and Anthony Anderson to help carry the load, but Big
House 2 is all Martin. And after duds like Black
Knight, National Security and Rebound, it was clear
that he needed you as much as you needed him.
So here you are, together again, with some flimsy
about an evil computer hacker who represents a vague terrorist threat. Mr.
Lawrence poses as a nanny to infiltrate the bad guy’s home, earning him the
unenviable task of caring for three crazy white kids. One of them, the boy, he
has this funny habit of falling down! His younger daughter? Get this – she
knocks things over. And the eldest is played by Kat Dennings, from The
40-Year-Old Virgin. She’s pretty easy on
What about Big Momma? Glad you asked. She falls down a lot,
too, because nothing tickles the funny bone more than a fat person taking a big
spill. She also gets to cavort with a few scantily clad hotties at the day spa,
and the sexual tension is priceless. Then she dons an outrageously tight
bathing suit and runs across the beach like Bo Derek in 10 – only Bo Derek’s ass wasn’t the size of a Buick.
This is high-minded stuff, so I can tell why it took Mr.
Lawrence so long to find the right script. And his patience paid off, because
someone’s going to love you. Who? Gee, I don’t know. You might appeal to the
drag-queen demographic, and to fat-suit fetishists. I’d consider recommending
you to agoraphobics – just to get them out of the house, you know – but I’m
afraid you might scare them back into seclusion. Come to think of it, I don’t
know anybody who could possibly appreciate you, but take heart. The people who
made Big Momma’s House a box-office
smash probably don't have much use for movie critics, anyway.