Divorcee Peter Sanderson (Martin)
was having trouble getting back in the dating game. He thought his luck had
changed when he started talking to a girl in a lawyer chat room on the Internet.
Making out that he was a criminal lawyer instead of a just a tax attorney,
the two plan to meet. From a picture she sent him, Peter is expecting a slim,
blonde lawyer to come knocking on his door but when the door bell rings, he
is greeted by a black, ex-con named Charlene (Latifah) who wants him to help
her clear her name.
With Steve Martin's
career on the slide, it has been for years, and Queen Latifah's on the rise,
bringing the two together was going to affect at least one of them.
This is Steve Martin's
best movie in years. While it does recapture his glory days of The Jerk and
The Man with Two Brains, it is the best role his has had in a very long time.
It plays to his strengths, physical comedy and an odd couple setting similar
to Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Housesitter. Queen Latifah shows a flare
for comedy and shows that she is a rarity, a singer turned actor that can
actually act. It is Eugene Levy that steals the film however. He has all the
best lines in his endless pursuit of his "Cocoa Goddess".
Where the movie falls
down is with the story. While simple enough to get the laughs, it is filled
with racial stereotypes like all black people live in the hood and all upper
class, well off white people still think of black people as slaves. This is
far too evident in Joan Plowright's character Mrs Arness and Betty White's
nosey neighbour. Saying this, the movie is produced by Queen Latifah herself,
so she must have been OK with the all of these racial slurs.
Bringing Down the
House, while amusing in parts, is never laugh out loud funny. The chemistry
between Steve Martin and Queen Latifah is very good but it is a shame that
America thinks that the only way they can sell a white and black leading couple
in a comedy is to emphasize the differences in their race.
Audio commentary from
director Adam Shankman
Audio commentary from screenwriter Jason Filardi
'Breakiní Down Bringing Down The House': a behind the scenes look at the making
of the movie
'Godfather of Hop' featurette: Queen Latifah, Steve Martin, director Adam
Shankman and others offer a funny tribute to actor Eugene Levy
Queen Latifah 'Better Than The Rest' music video
Deleted scenes & Outtakes
Interactive menu & Scene access
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