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The One-Line Summary: Lovable and happy Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) is a morbidly obese university professor and scientific researcher who falls in love the beautiful Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett-Smith) as he is creating a new experimental diet drug that he tests on himself, transforming him not just into an attractive, slender man but one with an entirely different, notably obnoxious personality.
The Two-Line Blurb: Based loosely on the 1963 Jerry Lewis comedy of the same name, this film features Murphy in no less than seven different roles, managing to walk a very fine line between a sweet, genuinely touching story with broad, crude “low-brow” comedy that is a surprisingly effective mix. This is Murphy’s show from start to finish, though he tends to linger on the aforementioned alter-ego “Buddy Love” a bit too much, as he truly shines as Klump and hits just the right notes (staring right into the camera) when he delivers his final, sentimental speech.
The Three-Line Set-up: Klump has never had any luck with women and while he’s well-loved and adored by students and colleagues, he is lonely and wants to meet someone special. Enter Carla Purty, a fellow teacher who is an admirer of Klump’s work but also, perhaps, interested in him. He goes through the natural anxious ups and down that anyone feels when attracted to someone else, and finally invites her to a dinner with his family, which she accepts, though he probably should have known better not to do so once the meal begins.
The Four-Line Moment: At the table are Klump and Purty, with Klump’s bother Ernie, their mother Mama Anna, their father Papa Cletus, their grandmother Granny (all played by Murphy) and Klump’s nephew Ernie Jr. (Jamal Mixon). They are out-spoken, loud, brutally honest, devoid of etiquette, embarrassing and most of all, loving and proud of Sherman, even if they can’t express it the way one might hope. Tiny Ms Purdy is dwarfed by the big family, and a little taken aback by their belicose personalities, but she begins to see what they are all about soon enough. One of the funniest moments ever created by Murphy, this is the film’s comic highlight and a fine example of just how talented an actor he can be.
The Five-Word Review: Heartwarming, raucous remake has weight.