There are always a few directors whose names you will never remember, but you have definitely seen at least one of their films. In the case of Bringing Down the House, it’s directed by none other than Adam Shankman, and boy does it show. This is the same guy who directed films such as A Walk to Remember and The Wedding Planner, and while this might not be his most refined film, it’s got Queen Latifah, and she definitely brings the house down.
How to Download Bringing Down the House
Bringing Down the House was released on March 7, 2003. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you like romantic comedies, check out our reviews of Mr. & Mrs. Smith or Isn’t It Romantic.
The Movie Review
The film follows Steve Martin’s character, Peter Sanderson, who is an uptight tax lawyer. The man is kind of lonely, and he ends up chatting with someone online, thinking she’s a lawyer. The early days of the internet were full of cat fishes, so surprise, it’s not exactly the person he expected. Chaos runs rampant when the vivacious and fabulous Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah) shows up at his door. What follows is a blend of fish-out-of-water scenarios and comedy of errors that should be a slam dunk. But alas, not quite.
Adam Shankman’s Direction
Adam Shankman, known for those aforementioned rom-coms, takes a left turn into the world of comedic chaos. Does he succeed? Eh, let’s say he wobbles a bit on this comedic tightrope. Enter Queen Latifah, the MVP of this flick. Remember when she dropped beats?
Now she’s dropping punchlines. Her comedic chops are as solid as a rock, and she carries this film like a pro. But, hey, even the Queen can’t fix everything.
Inconsistent Script and Humor
If we think about it, The script’s got moments that’ll tickle your funny bone, but it’s also got more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. Some jokes land with a thud while others are a riot. Consistency? Nope. The film is not consistent in any way whatsoever, in fact, it misses the mark almost every single time, and fails to really live up to any of the standards that were set up by Queen Latifah’s on-screen presence.
Shankman tries to bring as much energy and zest to the chaos as he can, but the pacing comes down to staggering halts out of nowhere just to keep a gag running. Most of the time, it’s not worth it either, because those gags are just nose-dives into awkwardness.
Outstanding Queen Latifah
Latifah’s magnetic performance is by far the main attraction, she carries this film on her shoulders throughout. She brings an energy to the film that is completely missing otherwise, and while Steve Martin plays a straight-laced guy with his usual finesse, he’s usually seen reacting rather than acting out of his own. Steve Martin is consistent here too, not as consistent as he was when playing Jack Cousteau, but he’s still kinda funny here. Eugene Levy as Martin’s buddy? Hilarious. But the rest of the ensemble? Let’s just say they’re not all in on the joke.
Visuals and Production
As every comedy film in the 2000s, the film’s visuals and production quality is nothing to write home about. Nothing groundbreaking whatsoever, not even a unique shot to talk about, it’s just your standard rom-com visuals with some semi-decent setups. It’s sort of like a comfy sweater: nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. Music? It’s there. It won’t be winning any awards, but it does its part to fill the gaps between jokes.
Bringing Down the House has its moments, but most of them come thanks to the sheer force of nature that is Queen Latifah. She makes this rather tame film feel like a rollercoaster ride of laughs and groans. Unfortunately, almost all of the other elements make this film feel more tedious to watch. So, if you’re up for a movie that’s more hit-or-miss than consistent, this might be something you’d feel like watching.
But if you’re expecting a genuinely above-average comedy film, well, best to lower those expectations when you start watching Bringing the House Down, because it in fact does not bring the house down much.
- Queen Latifah's magnetic performance carries the film
- Some jokes hit the mark, delivering genuine laughs
- Steve Martin's portrayal as the uptight lawyer adds comedic contrast
- Inconsistent humor with jokes that fall flat.
- Plot holes that strain believability
- Uneven pacing and direction affect the overall flow of the film
- Bland cinematography, lighting and camera work
- The music is just... there