Bringing Down The House

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, Jean Smart
Director: Adam Shankman

BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE finds Steve Martin in top form playing Peter Sanderson, an arrogant tax attorney who has recently been through a divorce for neglecting his former wife due to overworking. Despite not seeing eye to eye on his working habits, Peter’s ex-wife, Kate (Jean Smart), still loves him as he does her. However he now finds being on his own very lonely so he turns to the Internet and strikes up an online friendship with an apparent fellow barrister that increasingly takes his fancy.

Eventually he arranges to meet his new net friend but she turns out to be an escaped convict named Charlene – excellently portrayed by Queen Latifah. After many attempts to get rid of her, all of which fail, he finally concedes to helping her prove her innocence.

Meanwhile Peter is in the process of snagging a multi-billion dollar client named Miss Arness (Joan Plowright) who has very strong feelings about the status and behaviour of any prospective attorney that’s working for her. Unfortunately for Peter, Charlene’s presence gives little credibility to his prominence as a lawyer, which leads to a series of hilarious events.

Ultimately though Charlene teaches Peter to live life to the full and not go overboard with his work. She also reminds him to treat his kids with the love they deserve. Charlene, on her part, learns to appreciate certain capabilities she had taken for granted and thanks to her persuasion Peter finally comes out of his tight shell, which helps him sort out the love issues in his life.

With good directing from Adam Shankman who keeps both the comedy and drama well paced throughout, BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE achieves what it has set out to do and doesn’t try to be anything else. The supporting performances from especially Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright and Kate Smart are all spot on and can’t be faulted. This is without doubt a very entertaining film, definitely worth seeing and with plenty of laughs to hold the audience’s attention to the end.

5 out of 6 stars

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