Norbit is what you get when you take The Nutty Professor and remove the heart. Once again, Eddie Murphy slaps on the latex to play multiple roles, but the roles are so rude and crude this time that we have no emotional stake in anybody or anything. And Murphy, whose talent once seemed bottomless, is starting to repeat himself or borrow heavily from others. Norbit, Murphy's idea of a nice-guy nerd, owes at least a small debt to Urkel, although the lisp seems to come from Homer Simpson. But where's the finely shaded performance that Murphy came up with for Sherman Klump? Where's the man inside the nerd? Next to Sherman, Norbit seems slightly retarded.
As for Rasputia, who might have been two tons of fun if she'd been any fun at all, Murphy may be on to something: plus-sized women who will not be denied their right to be considered sexy thangs. But why does she have to be such a monster? And why couldn't Murphy come up with a better voice for her? Or some new vocal stylings? She sounds like Mrs. Klump after a really bad day. The plot, such as it is, has Norbit stuck with Rasputia while pining for the slimmer Kate (Thandie Newton). But it's all just an excuse for Murphy to remind us that he's larger than life. Inside every fat-person movie character, it appears, is a Hollywood superstar trying to get back into the limelight.