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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Mo'Nique, Kendra Johnson, Eric Roberts
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Nnegest Likke'
MPAA RATING
Rated PG-13
RUNNING TIME
99 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Fox Searchlight
 "Phat Girlz" Review 
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Yo' mama is so ugly...
It's like the car crash you can't help but look at as you drive by.

No, no wait.

It's like the circus freak sideshow you can't help but pay a dollar to watch.

No, no...wait.

It's Mo'Nique.

I went into "Phat Girlz" with an open mind. Despite my distaste for Mo'Nique, and despite her pathetic performance in the recent straight-to-video "Irish Jam" I held out hope that "Phat Girlz" might offer something...a morality lesson, a cheap laugh, any glimmer of hope.

It doesn't.

It is now firmly, and I mean firmly, established that Mo'Nique cannot act. Is she a funny stand-up comedienne? Hmmm, there are apparently many who think so. I am not, however, one of them.

Beyond the awful, horridly assembled direction by Nnegest Likke and production design that looks like it was developed by the "Kiddie College for Phlegm Design", "Phat Girlz" is a tasteless, stupefyingly ignorant excuse for a film.

Of course, I must confess that I am a bit biased.

You see, Queen Latifah just made this film a couple months ago. Her film, "Last Holiday," was funny, insightful, occasionally intelligent and, amazingly enough, well acted and written. "Phat Girlz", on the other hand, is a stereotypical film with stereotypical situations with the fundamental message that "fat people good...thin people bad."

Sorry, I've just given the film away. You have my humblest apologies if you actually have any intention of seeing this crap.

The film features Eric Roberts as the stereotypical White guy in a Black film role. Roberts, whose career is apparently now officially off the radar, must be taking over this type of role from Tom Arnold, who has been handling this type of role for years. Oddly enough, I prefer Arnold.

"Phat Girlz" is also written by Likke', and I get the feeling that the original vision for "Phat Girlz" was, in fact, quite promising. In fact, it's easy to see why Mo'Nique would be attracted to a film that, essentially, preaches the importance of self-acceptance and being comfortable in our own skin. Yet, it feels like somewhere between vision and production the film-maker lost his way. This is one case where a different director may have actually allowed this writer's vision to manifest itself onscreen.

"Phat Girlz", while a definite Razzie contender for 2006, offers two small shining lights. A supporting performance by Kendra Johnson offers "Phat Girlz" a few moments of genuine onscreen light. Also, the film's opening moments actually do offer a few moments for Mo'Nique to shine before she goes over-the-top into the comic twilight zone.

The end result? "Phat Girlz" is worse than a lightweight comedy...it's downright anorexic.
© Written by Richard Propes
TheIndependent Critic
    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
    • B: 3 Stars                         
    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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