Bringing Down the House

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Released 2003

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Bringing Down the House

Movie Summary

Director:
Adam Shankman
Released:
2003
Rating:
PG-13
Bringing Down the House is a 2003 comedy starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah as two needy souls that form an unlikely friendship. Recently divorced Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) takes a break from his workaholic existence to strike up a conversation on an Internet chat room and arranges to meet a woman he believes to be a fellow attorney. Much to his surprise, Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah) arrives instead. Charlene escaped from prison in hopes of getting his legal help in clearing her name. In spite of his best efforts, the determined Charlene will not leave until she gets what she wants. Uptight Peter is desperate to maintain his middle-class propriety as wealthy woman, Virginia Arness (Joan Plowright) considers employing him, which Charlene wisely uses to her advantage. The situation only grows more complicated as Peter's best friend, Howie Rottman (Eugene Levy) becomes infatuated with Charlene and the opportunity arises for Peter to win back his ex-wife, Kate (Jean Smart). Adam Shankman (Hairspray) directs this slapstick comedy of combustible opposites.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    There are certainly good laughs to be had. But the contrived script and bland direction prevent the film from ever developing a comic life of its own, leaving what fun there is see...

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    A movie that desperately wants her (Latifah's) hip, her edge and mostly her blackness but doesn't know what to do with the human being who comes with the package.

  • 20

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    High-school cafeteria soup has more flavor than this bland, tepid throwback.

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    Comedy