"A Big, Fat Waste of Time"
Images of thin, scantily clothed women are used to sell every product imaginable, whether it’s food, deodorant, cosmetics, or even paper towels. Likewise, popular movies, television, and magazines also pitch the idea that thinness is a criterion for physical beauty, especially for women. The comedy PHAT GIRLZ defiantly resists this notion, but does so in the most lowbrow and unimaginative way possible. Simply put, this movie is a big, fat mess.
Mo’Nique stars as Jazmin, a large and loud woman struggling to cope in a society infatuated with being slender. Her size seems to be an obstacle to all her dreams. The myriad of diet pill containers cluttering her bedroom dresser doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference. As she tries to move up in the fashion design industry, she discovers no one will give her a chance because she is fat, and her weight problems also plague her hopes for finding true love. Jazmin’s depression grows, and her problems appear too robust to overcome.
She receives some much needed good news when she wins an all-expenses paid trip to a five-star Palm Springs resort. She takes her best friend Stacey (Kendra C. Johnson) and cousin Mia (Joyful Drake) along for the excursion. There, she meets Tunde (Jimmy Jean-Louis), a handsome doctor from Nigeria, who is very attracted to Jazmin, while his friend Akibo (Godfrey) is drawn to Stacey. Basking in a scenario that seems too good to be true, they learn that, in Nigeria, large women are considered beautiful and rich. Even though Jazmin’s ship appears to have finally arrived, she is haunted by self-doubt and insecurities. Will she be able to squelch her personal demons, or will this situation fail as miserably as her short-lived diet plans?
PHAT GIRLZ doesn’t have much to offer other than heaping portions of fat girl jokes, which, come to think of it, weren’t even very funny in the ’80s when the Fat Boys rap group made them popular. The uneven script and amateurish direction are tough to stomach. The movie’s B-grade acting adds to the misery.
Certainly the worst characteristic of PHAT GIRLZ, however, is the story’s moral-anorexia. Jazmin is consistently offended by the fat jokes blurted wherever she goes. She always responds by sinking to the level of her hecklers. She rebuts every “you’re so fat. . .” joke with a “you’re so ugly. . .” joke, while her friends laugh and exchange high-fives in approval. The audience, by contrast, is left to squirm uncomfortably at the contemptible characters onscreen. The movie makes it clear that Jazmin is not ugly because of her obesity, but fails to understand that she is indeed ugly because of her mean spirit, lust, gluttony, and foul mouth.
Supersized with foul language, sexual content, lowbrow humor, and a pagan worldview, media-wise audiences will abstain from the junk-food that PHAT GIRLZ serves.
(PaPa, C, Ho, LLL, V, SS, NN, MM) Strong pagan worldview in which characters are motivated by lust, power, envy, and contempt, plus one scene depicting a family praying before a meal and one flamboyantly homosexual male character; over 78 mostly light obscenities and 21 profanities; mild cartoon-like violence depicting a woman attacking a man; several scenes of depicted fornication, plus lots of dialogue about sex and lust; upper male nudity and numerous depictions of women and men in skimpy clothes in sexual context; several scenes of alcohol use and a few scenes of alcohol abuse; no smoking or drug use; and, racist attitudes, and an extreme amount of rude behavior.
PHAT GIRLZ is a comedy that follows Jazmin, a large woman struggling to cope in a society obsessed with thinness. Her size seems to be an obstacle to all her dreams, including her career as a fashion designer and her hope of finding true love. Her situation improves when a handsome doctor from Nigeria falls for her while on vacation. Even though her ship appears to have finally arrived, she is haunted by self-doubt and insecurities. If Jazmin doesn't squelch her personal demons, this situation will fail as miserably as her diet plans.
PHAT GIRLZ doesn't have much to offer other than heaping portions of fat girl jokes. The uneven script and amateurish direction are tough to stomach. The movie's B-grade acting adds to the misery. The worst characteristic of the movie, however, is the story's moral anorexia. Jazmin is not ugly because of her obesity, but she is indeed ugly because of her mean spirit, lust, gluttony, and foul mouth. Supersized with sexual content and a pagan worldview, this movie is a big, fat waste of time. Media-wise audiences will abstain from the junk food served by PHAT GIRLZ.