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Bringing Down The House (Widescreen Edition) (2003)

Steve Martin , Queen Latifah , Adam Shankman  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, Jean Smart
  • Directors: Adam Shankman
  • Writers: Jason Filardi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2003
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JM4B
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,294 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bringing Down The House (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

Deleted Scenes

Editorial Reviews

The hilarious Steve Martin (FATHER OF THE BRIDE) and Academy Award(R)-nominee Queen Latifah (Best Supporting Actress, 2002, CHICAGO) star with Eugene Levy (AMERICAN PIE) in the laugh-out-loud hit comedy BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE. Peter Sanderson (Martin), a divorced, straitlaced, uptight workaholic attorney, meets a brainy bombshell lawyer in an on-line chat room and they make a date. Expecting his soul mate, he opens the door and finds himself face-to-face with Charlene (Latifah) -- a wild and crazy soul "sister" who's just escaped from prison and wants Peter to clear her name. But Peter wants absolutely nothing to do with her, and that prompts Charlene to turn Peter's perfectly ordered life totally upside down. Hysterical complications abound and Peter soon finds out he may need Charlene just as much as she needs him. It's a houseful of fun your family will enjoy again and again.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good Steve Martin vehicle January 3, 2004
It's fluff, but I've seen worse. Steve Martin is his usual self, but that's a good thing, because he's fun to watch. Levy and Latifah are great too.
All this nonesense about the movie being racist is a bit nutty, after all Latifah is a co-producer, and you'd think that if she can see past the harmless jokes the viewers could do the same.
The Farrelly Brothers take a similar approach in their movies in that they include characters who themselves disapprove of the jokes, so that your reaction as a viewer is represented by them. They diffuse the bomb for you so you can laugh. Well the idea in this movie is the same.
The movie was overall harmless and enjoyable despite a few irritating moments (the girl-on-girl brawl with the dumb 80's "Simply Irresistable" tune was too long and unnecessary).
I also wasn't blown away by the extras, though it was nice to see more shots of Martin dancing to HipHop in the outtakes. How many 58 year old white guys do you see doing that? All the interviews are the usual "oh he's so great to work with" or "for such a young actor he's so professional" crap.
Anyway, above average fluff (carried by the performances of Martin, Latifah, and Levy).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprized July 7, 2003
I went and saw this movie at a dollar theater on "tightwad Tuesday" for $.50. Despite how dumb the movie looked to me, I actually really enjoyed it.
The demographics of the audience we saw it with were close to 50% white, 50% black and EVERYONE was laughing pretty damn hard. I like how Queen Latifa (a beautiful & talented comedian, actress, and singer) was able to make you see that a very smart, educated, upper class black woman can speak English by the book, but may choose to sound more ethnic because that's who she is. Anyone who thinks we American's don't have any heritage/culture, think again. Every race/culture/clique has their own version of English, their own style of dressing, etc. Sometimes they overlap, sometimes they don't but we share a history and an American pride. I loved the way this movie makes you laugh at the ridiculousness of your own prejudices without being preachy.
Steve Martin used to be my favorite comedian, but as of late he hasn't done anything spectacular. At the end of this movie he has a chance to show his versitility as an actor, his talent as a comedian, and the ability for an old dog to learn new tricks. He and Queen Lattifah make an unlikely but enjoyable pair. And of course I've always loved Jean Smart who plays Martin's ex-wife.
I give it 3 1/2 stars.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rife with sterotypes November 30, 2003
If we are grading on plot, this movie is a 2 or 3 - formulaic but an okay comedy. If we are grading on the social worth of this movie (compared to other Martin movies like L.A. Story, a 5 star story or Roxanne, a four only because it is a knock off of Cyrano) this movie doesn't even make one star.
THE PLOT - Steve Martin is a tax attorney in a conservative tax office and is trying to reel in the multi million dollar account of an exceedingly conservative and somewhat eccentric old heiress. When he sets up a blind date with an internet acquaintance, Lawyer girl, it turns out to be Charlene - an escaped convict trying to clear her name of the armed robbery charge for which she was falsely imprisoned. While that would be a suitable description for her in most movies, it is also a big deal in this movie that she is black. Not able to get rid of her, she moves in - ostensibly as the nannny - until he can get her name cleared. Typical hijinx ensue. The only thing that was really entertaining was Eugene Levy who pursues Charlene throughout the movie but then we start getting into the problem with some of the ridiculous things he says.
THE PROBLEM - From the start, almost all plot points are based on race. All the whites are openly bigotted. Betty White as Martin's neighbor says she doesn't want to see hispanics in the neighborhood unless they have a leafblower. Terms "Aunt Jemima" and "jungle love" are just the beginning. All of the blacks in the movie speak presumably some type of hip hop language that bears no resemblance to anything. All the blacks are "gangstas". In short I have never met anyone of either color that acted, talked or even thought like the people in the film. I am pretty sure everyone will be offended, regardless of their skin color.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars We Shall Overcome Someday. December 3, 2003
By smurdge
Got a problem with a skinny, unpleasant white woman? Handle it the Queen Latifah way- beat her up! It works especially well if the white woman is half your size and wearing only her underwear. So much for Martin Luther King.
It's touching that the creators of this movie have managed to offensively stereotype black people and white people equally. It doesn't seem fair to accuse such totally clueless people of racism- it's kind of like yelling at an infant because it pooped in its diaper.
The one redeeming thing about this mess is Eugene Levy, and you can see him in some movies that are actually good: Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind, Best in Show or the SCTV DVDs supposedly coming out in spring 2004.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Let me first say that there is not one original idea in the movie. It steals from movies like Uncle Buck, Houseguest and Steve Martin's own Housesitter about the the unwelcome guest moving in and making life better for the main lead and their kids.

The sort of novel idea is that the two main leads don't automatically become a couple (all the ingredients are there like initial trickery to gain access to the lead's life, chemistry but tension, tender reconciliation and the love interest proving themselves to be actually nice under their stone skins). It is interesting that Roger Ebert and a few other critics whine that this does not happen in their reviews, yet he always complains about Hollywood following their typical formula.

Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a successful attorney who neglects his kid and his (now divorced) wife Kate (all cute, non-sexy California blondes are named Kate by the way) and has started an internet relationship with a personality named lawyergirl. When they decide to meet, she doesn't appear to a be a thin blonde attorney, but a shapely, black convict. Even worse, Sanderson's neighbor Mrs. Kline (Betty White) is a bigot as well as the sister of his boss. Charlene will not quit and at the end, they reach a comprimise and Peter begins investigating the case with his buddy Howie.

The plot of this case, as you can see is very generic and only seems to happen in Hollywood. Of course, the ex-wife is waiting to come back into the relationship. Of course, the sidekick is ready to pick up female lead since formulaic wise the WASPY old man doesn't suit Charlene. Of course there is a wacky, b!tchy sister that meddles, the uptight hag that needs to be loosened up and of course the kids are messed up with problems that only Charlene can take care of.
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