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"The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps"

Directed by Peter Segal.
Written by Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield, Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz. 
Starring Eddie Murphy and Janet Jackson.
Release Year:  2000 
Review Date:  7/30/00 


Ahh, strip clubs.

This weekend, I was in Cleveland to attend the wedding of Jason "Lakewood" McGrath, a Bellview member and one of my best friends from my high school days.  Luckily for me (I guess the word luck is all interpretation), I got the chance to go to Jason's bachelor party as well, along with Joseph "The Nine Point Fiver" Spahr, Matt "CFP" McGrath, Howard "Quick Snooze" Sidman and a host of others.  Being that Matt--the cruise director for the evening--wanted to see the best that Cleveland had to offer for his younger brother Jason, we decided to hit Tiffany's Cabaret, a "gentlemen's club" in the Flats near the waterfront.

My thing with strip clubs is, generally they don't make great places to just "hang out at," unless you are in the normal socioeconomic range of the frequent strip club visitor:  35-45, probably single but possibly married, middle-to-upper-middle class income, white.  Don't worry, Mom and Dad, I haven't gone to so many of these establishments that the bouncer gives me a high-five whenever I walk by Camelot in DC, one of our more infamous clubs.  But, I have noticed that whenever I have been to one, the girls on the floor/stage seem to talk to me and the members of my party more because we seem so out of place at a venue that normally caters to older men.

And, this was the case on Friday night as well.  Most of us partook in the normal strip club activities:  drinks, lap dances and taddy (the Bellview term for breast; copyright 1993) viewing from close range.  But, much credit goes to Matt for his phat idea:  for $130, we got some kind of bachelor party special, which placed Jason in a chair on the main stage and had three of the club's hottest women give Jason the le freak treatment, prancing happily around him while exposing themselves to him, pulling off his shirt and making him swim in taddies.  Never before have, ahem, physically enhanced bosoms looked so good!  After this, Jason was forced to dance to "YMCA" in front of 100 other men and girlfriends/wives who wanted to see "just what these strip clubs are all about."  (To the ladies:  why would you ever want to go to a strip club?  And, don't shake your head in disgust as you watch Anastasia or Cassandra toss her g-string to the ground, and definitely do NOT shake your head at me for being there.  I know I'm a bad person, and I don't need your icy glare to tell me the same.  Remember, YOU are the one that wanted to validate that at strip clubs, women strip!)  Note to J:  don't lose your day job, pal!  Dance machine, you are not!!

After the madness of the weekend, Gordon "The Booze Cruise" Stokes (just back from Jamaica) and I decided to hit a flick today so that I could shoot out a review to the hungry summer masses for Monday morning.  The choices were thin this week, but I was reasonably confident that "The Klumps" would deliver the goods.  Thankfully, it does, and I know that for some of you, that is hard to believe, since the previews for this movie had that "all the good jokes are in the trailer" feel to it.

Basically, it is important to remember going in that you will get most of your laughs from the absolutely huge variety of characters that Eddie Murphy has to play.  Sure, there is a plot, but it is not too good and it provides ample opportunity for Murphy to play all of the seven or eight (I lost count) characters that are not the movie's main character, professor Sherman Klump.  I want to take time out to say that Murphy is incredible in this movie, not just because he is so damned funny but because you just know that he must have spent countless hours every single day to put all of those prosthetics on to play fat characters, and the bang for your buck with Murphy in these roles is pretty good.  He literally plays half of the speaking parts in the movie!  The wizardry of the special effects when two or more of Murphy's characters are in the same scene is also very good, as it is almost (ALMOST) seemless watching one Klump hand food to another Klump with no noticeable digital effect work going on, for example.

In fact, scenes like the one early in the film when the Klump family and Sherman's main squeeze in the film, Denise (Janet Jackson, no better an actress here than before), go to the buffet restaurant, are so hilarious and make a full movie theater so loud with laughter that you are sure to miss some of family patriarch Cletus' raunchy one-liners because the jokes are coming so rapid-fire.  By the time Cletus is shooting fire out of his ass because of his reaction to a piece of food lodged in his throat, my theater had some people falling out of their chairs, and this was 15 minutes into the movie!  Here--as opposed to another recent comedy, the Jim Carrey movie "Me, Myself and Irene"--Murphy & Co. have many moments of extended comedy; not just funny one-trick ponies of scenes, but funny scene after funny scene after funny scene, and a lot of that is owed to the writers' liberal use of all of the Klump family.  Buddy Love (Sherman's alter ego in the first film that is the bad guy in the sequel), Grandma Klump, and Sherman's dad Cletus really drive the movie from middle to end, and Grandma is so funny by the end (her dream sequence is also funny as hell) that one would think you could build a whole movie around her.

Besides its corny and overly convenient ending, the other main problem I had was with some of the stuff that this PG-13 film got away with in the potty prank department.  This movie reminded me a little of "Dumb & Dumber," the pretty funny Farrelly Brothers film that featured about 10,000 farting and pissing jokes.  "The Klumps" relies a little too much on characters' inability to contain their sometimes-hilariously loud flatulence problems—I mean, six or seven scenes that gets their laughs only from a character, say, using his farting ability to move faster through a gravity-less space shuttle.  And, by the time hamster rape becomes an issue late in the film (although, admittedly, it does provide for one of the film's best lines), you are going to wish that you hadn't brought little Billy and his ten best friends to see this movie.  Gordon and I both mentioned afterwards that after "Scary Movie" (Ms. Mann and that sex scene:  wow) and "The Klumps," it is obvious that there are little to no standards left at the motion picture ratings board meetings where these films are being given a rating.

But, that aside, this flick is a great surprise, since I know that I was not all that excited coming in that this movie was gonna be funny.  Happily, I was dead wrong about that.  And, speaking of bosoms, Janet's are on display for almost every scene that she is in.  (I knew there would be a tie-in to strip clubs somewhere.)

Rating:  $8.25 Show


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09