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Big Momma's House (Fullscreen)

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One of the biggest box office hits in a summer when several African-American-themed comedies earned sleeper hit status, Big Momma's House (2000) stars comic Martin Lawrence, but owes more than a small debt to the work of Eddie Murphy. Lawrence, a former Murphy costar, successfully mimics Murphy's formula of playing one character in leading man fashion and another buried under heavy layers of prosthetics and makeup, a canny decision that resulted in a hit for Lawrence and a rise in his per-film salary. The supporting cast and Raja Gosnell's direction rank as adequate, but Big Momma's House is Lawrence's film, and he makes the most of it, mining broadly crowd-pleasing moments not only for their laugh appeal but for a few tugs on the heart strings as well. In the same summer, Murphy would also score with his own multi-character comedy, Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps (2000). Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

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