DVD Review: Phat Girlz
By Jeff Swindoll Aug 20, 2006, 20:33 GMT
Superstar comedienne Mo’Nique stars as a sassy, plus-sized fashion designer who’s tired of taking no for an answer in this hilarious comedy about living life to the fullest. Jazmin Biltmore has big plans for large ladies – she’s designed a sexy line of clothes for curvaceous women like herself. But when she can’t get funding for her designs or meet a man who appreciates her unique physique, Jazmin’s patience starts ...more
“I hate skinny bitches.”
Mo’Nique stars in this Cinderella story where she finds fame, fortune, and love. Yeah, I know it sounds bad, but unlike Larry the Cable Guy this one made me laugh.
Jazmine Biltmore (Mo’Nique) is a large woman living with her much skinnier cousin Mia (Joyful Drake). Jazmine works at Bloomfeld’s department store with her friend Stacey (Kendra C. Johnson), who is also a large woman and is rather shy, and Ramon (Felix Pire). One day at work Bloomfeld’s head buyer Robert Myer (Eric Roberts) is in the store and Jazmine wants to show him some of her designs.
However, her boss Richard “Dick” Eckhard (Jack Noseworthy) won’t let her approach Mr. Myer. She tries to get a loan to start her own business but is denied and makes a scene. She returns home feeling rather depressed, but finds that she has won an all expense paid trip to a resort in Palm Springs from a diet pill contest.
She, Mia, and Stacey head to the resort. The resort also happens to be hosting an international medical convention. Dr. Tunde (Jimmy Jean-Louis) is attending the conference and much to Jazmine’s shock seems to be interested in her. He introduced Stacey to his friend Akibo (Godfrey) and Mia to Godwin (Danny Ade).
It seems that Nigerians like their women with a little meat on their bones. Godwin is always grousing (in Nigerian of course) that he got stuck with Mia the walking skeleton. The girls are invited to a party that the Nigerians are throwing and everyone keeps remarking that Mia looks ill since she’s so skinny. It seems that Nigerians association social standing with the weight of a woman and don’t call them fat but “thick madams.”
Things are going very well with Stacy and Akibo and Jazmine is falling hard for Dr. Tunde. However Jazmine thinks that Tunde is having dinner with another (skinnier) woman and confronts him, but it turns out that the woman is the president of the medical society. She has an argument with Tunde and tells him that he’ll leave her for a skinnier woman eventually. Jazmine is embarrassed and leaves the resort and returns home to lock herself in her room and pig out.
Eventually she comes to the realization that she should like herself for who she is. She summons up the courage to show Mr. Myer her designs and he agrees to let her sell them in the store for a year and if they’re successful he’ll put them in all the stores. She calls her line Thick Madam. They are successful and Jazmine finds herself a rich woman. She decides to go to Nigeria and see Tunde one last time, but will he still want to be with her?
Phat Girlz made me laugh, which is usually what I ask for from a comedy. I also thought it was sweet, which I’m sure is going to be the kiss of death for some people. The story is not an unfamiliar one and is compared to Cinderella on the DVD box.
Basically it’s about Jazmine learning to accept herself as she is. It also has the familiar romantic comedy plot lines, misunderstandings and the like. However, unlike the other “star” comedy I reviewed recently (Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector) this one made me laugh and was reasonably funny. I liked Mo’Nique and the story (though familiar) and other characters were good.
Phat Girlz is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Phat Girlz is also presented in the theatrical version and an extended version. The theatrical version runs 98 minutes and the extended about 100 minutes. Special features include a commentary by director Nnegest Likke. There are also 10 deleted scenes, running about 8 minutes total, with an optional director’s commentary.
Next is the 8 minute “The Phattest Guy: A Tribute to Bobby Newmyer.” The late producer (who died of a heard attack) is paid tribute by director Nnegest Likke, business partner Jeffrey Silver, Mo’Nique, producer Steven L. Wolfe, and co-producer Michael Glassman. Next is the 3 minute Blooper Reel, 8 minute video diary by Nnegest Likke, the 4 minute “Real Deal: Making of Phat Girlz”, which interviews Mo’Nique and Nnegest Likke, and a collection of trailers.
I actually ended up liking Phat Girlz. I don’t know if you will or not, since the story is not particularly new. Maybe it was just that I recently watched a movie claiming to be a comedy that had no laughs.