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Bringing Down the House
Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a divorced, straight-laced, uptight attorney who still loves his ex-wife and canít figure out what he did wrong to make her leave him. However, Peterís trying to...  View more >

Starring Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy...  View more >

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Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Mar 7, 2003
Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah) almost literally brings down the house of successful tax attorney Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) to get his attention in director Adam Shankman\'s Bringing Down the House, but even Latifah and Martin\'s commendable performances fail to generate numerous laughs in this slow-paced sleeper.

The trailer editor selected every scene with even the slightest bit of humor to promote this insipid film, which translates into about two minutes of laugh-out-loud moments and one-hundred and three minutes of bland, look-at-your-watch-to-see-how-much-time-is-left material.

Like most films in the genre, Bringing Down the House is built entirely on clichés, but unlike successful comedies, this one fails to find a fresh way to present the material and will soon be lost and forgotten in a stale pile of other mediocre films.

The predictably predictable plot revolves around race relationships, and specifically deals with race relationships between Caucasians and African-Americans in Los Angeles. Screenwriter Jason Filardi based the characters almost entirely on stereotypes, but he should not be criticized for this choice as he equally satirizes both racial subcultures and subtly suggests that diversity and integrating diverse populations positively affects everyone involved.

Comedy would not exist if writers did not have the freedom or courage to lampoon reality through exaggeration and innocuous distortion. Spectators offended by Morton\'s \"hoodish\" behavior need to realize that she instigates every positive change that occurs in the film, and more importantly that her speech and behavior are both deliberate choices; she makes this explicit statement in Sanderson\'s office and frequently demonstrates that she behaves how she wants to behave in any given circumstances. None of the other caricatures are particularly noteworthy, though Mrs. Kline\'s (Betty White) superfluous racial slurs seem too cheap and unnecessary even in this base film.

Martin manages to add some life to his generic character, but it is Latifah who deserves the most acclaim for lead performance. She adds attitude to dull dialogue. She makes viewers take interest even in the most hackneyed situations. She is rough and tough, but she is endearing and delightfully dynamic. The intelligence of the character is greatly enhanced by the obvious intelligence of this versatile actress who demands attention every time she appears onscreen. Eugene Levy delivers a consciously monotonous performance as Martin\'s assistant, which works well in this film and contrasts nicely with Latifah\'s dynamism. The terrific cast chemistry also deserves mention, and one can only lament that Filardi wasn\'t able to provide this talented cast with a decent script.

The rudimentary computer screen opening sequence, despite its clever dialogue, is indicative of the overall quality of Bringing Down the House; the absurd half Tae-Bo, half street-fighting brawl in the bathroom is inexcusable; and the film presents a compilation of related scenes rather than a continuous narrative. Steve Martin is equally as good if not better in earlier films that provided him with much better roles--go to the movie rental store if you crave his comedy. Queen Latifah delivers an equally magnificent performance in Chicago--if you must go to the movie theater, purchase a ticket that\'s actually worth the price of admission. Whatever you do, stay away from Bringing Down the House, and let this comedic disaster crumble into cinematic oblivion.
Mar 8, 2003
Mar 8, 2003
While the film was light-hearted and didn't require any thought, it wasn't awful. However, no real need to see this one in the theater, as there isn't anything extra special about it.

Pick it up as a rental at some point down the road. You probably won't have to wait real long.
Mar 12, 2003
Mar 12, 2003
Mar 12, 2003
The last movie Steve Martin did was the independant film "Novicane" a little over a year ago. Now in "Bringing Down the House," the only thing Martin wants was a paycheck.

In this movie, Steve has set himself up on an internet date, but he found out that the date is on the run from the law. Queen Latifah (who got a well-deserved Oscar nomination for "Chicago") did little to help the film. This film reminded me of "Housesitter," which was made in 1995. Sinbad played a escape con who conned his way into a middle-class family.

"Housesitter" was much funnier than "Bringing Down the House," which became nothing more that a half-hour sitcon with swearing. There's one scene where Martin dressed like a hood member in order to get into a nightclub. That reminded me of Warren Beatty in "Bulworth." But the most disapointing of them all is no love scene between Martin and Latifah.
Mar 16, 2003
This movie was really funny.
Mar 26, 2003
Jul 9, 2003

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