Movies A-Z | Celebs | SiteMap | DVD | Advanced Search
   Movie Database News    In Theaters    Coming Soon    Future Movies    BoxOffice     Trailers     Scripts     Wallpapers     Directory  
  Home - Bringing Down the House review

Bringing Down the House (2003)

User Rating
(77 votes)
Critic Rating
(12 reviews)
OverviewReviewsCommentsDVDsPhotosTrailersForumProduction InfoAdd to MyMovies 

Quotes (19)
Trivia (1)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

Directed by
Adam Shankman

Written by
Jason Filardi

Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, Jean Smart [more]

Release Date
• USA: Mar 7, 2003
• UK: 30 May 2003
DVD Release Date
• R1: Aug 5, 2003
• R2: 12 Jan 2004

Budget $35,000,000

Official Website:
Bringing Down the House Website

MPAA Rating
Rated PG-13 for language, sexual humor and drug material.

Running Time
1 hour, 45 minutes

Country USA

Studio Touchstone Pictures

More info on

Other Titles
• Bringing Down the House
• In the Houze

Sign up for our Newsletter!
Movie news in your email:

Your Name:

Your E-Mail Address:

Review of Bringing Down the House (2003) by David N. Butterworth

A film review by David N. Butterworth
Copyright 2003 David N. Butterworth
** (out of ****)

Tired, tacky, and not terribly funny, "Bringing Down the House" starts with a good idea, that of putting Oscar® host Steve Martin and Oscar nominee Queen Latifah ("Chicago") in the same movie together, and goes downhill from there.

The premise is that Martin's character, a lonely, recently separated tax attorney, meets "lawyer-girl" in an Internet chat room and arranges a blind date after she e-mails him a photograph of herself. But guess what? She's not the shapely blonde in the foreground, she's the less shapely brunette getting busted in the background. Ha ha. Feeling slighted by his immediate turn of face, Charlene proceeds to make Peter's life a living hell until, that is, they start to get along.

All of this is in the trailer. The trailer is better than the actual film because it's shorter, tighter, and contains almost all of the funny parts (and there aren't that many of those to begin with). In addition to being spectacularly unfunny "Bringing Down the House" features poor writing, lackluster direction, and an insipid music score (for starters). It presumes white people talking like black people to be funny. Worse still, it presumes white people talking like black people to be original, and they were talking jive as far back as "Airplane!" (and probably a lot earlier than that!).

Latifah brightens up the proceedings immeasurably though, bringing class and sass to an otherwise pedestrian production. Martin is mediocre but it's hardly his fault; the script gives him nothing to do (except for one silly scene in which he hits the dance clubs dressed like Ja Rule and talking gangsta rap). Eugene Levy, as Peter's associate, gets to talk like an African-American also ("you got me straight trippin', boo"). There are a lot of honkies talking jive in this movie, that's a given.

To counteract all this Latifah sports her Sunday best Queen's English for all of 15 seconds, but it's unnecessary because Joan Plowright is on hand to sport some more. She's a client of Peter's with a French bulldog. A racist one (the client that is, not the dog). Racist like Betty White's neighborly Mrs. Kline, who makes Bill Maher seem politically correct. Jean Smart, looking terrific, plays Peter's estranged wife Kate and Missi Pyle turns in an eye catching performance as his vengeful sister-in-law, who has an outrageous, out-of-nowhere locker room catfight with Latifah.

The performances, then, are uniformly good but the material is thin thin thin, the tone uneven (not to mention offensive in its blatant racial stereotyping), and it's all just so darned unoriginal it hurts. You can usually tell how good a film is going to be from its initial few moments. "Bringing Down the House" starts with a grainy close-up of typed text on a computer screen as Peter composes a message to Charlene. This opening sequence is clichéd, simplistic, and literally out of focus like, it turns out, the rest of the movie.

David N. Butterworth

Got beef? Visit "La Movie Boeuf" online at

X-RAMR-ID: 34360
X-Language: en
X-RT-ReviewID: 851816
X-RT-TitleID: 1120902
X-RT-SourceID: 878
X-RT-AuthorID: 1393
X-RT-RatingText: 2/4

NOTE: This review was posted on the usenet to the newsgroup. accepts no responsibility for the contents of the review.
Unless stated otherwise, the copyright belongs to the author.

 Other Usenet Reviews of Bringing Down the House (2003)

 Recommended Movies
Movie Title Agree Disagree
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Banger Sisters, The (2002)
Big Lebowski, The (1998)
City of God (2002)
American Wedding (2003)
Godfather Trilogy: 1901-1980, The (1992)
It Runs in the Family (2003)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

Help us improve these results!
Mark the movies you think are similar by putting a checkmark under 'Agree' and hit Submit. Leave blank those you are not sure about. is not the official site for this film.
All editorial views and opinions expressed here are for entertainment purposes only. <>

DVD | Home | BoxOffice | All Celebs | All Movies | Release Schedule | In Production | In Theaters
Coming Soon | Future Movies | Trailers | Scripts | Wallpapers | Directory | Advanced Search | Knihy
Copyright ©2002 All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.