Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
It’s been said that there comes a critical moment in every African American comedian’s career when he's asked to put on a dress. Among those who’ve succumbed to that subtle pressure over the years are Flip Wilson (TV’s Geraldine), Jaime Foxx (TV’s Wanda), Marlon and Shawn Wayans (“White Chicks”), Eddie Murphy (“Norbit” and “The Nutty Professor” 1 & 2), Tyler Perry (Madea), and of course, Martin Lawrence (The Big Momma trilogy).
Paradoxically, this controversial sub-genre has frequently been the subject of debate, with pundits disagreeing on whether or not the films are politically-incorrect. On the one hand, you hear blowback from naysayers complaining about the stereotypical portrayal of Black women as overweight and obnoxious. On the other, the proponents point out the fact that many of these mistaken identity adventures feature Black-on-Black romance, a rarity in Hollywood, even if between a chocolate chubby chaser and a terrified transvestite trying to fend off advances while keeping up appearances.