Sunday, April 30, 2006

Phat Girlz: Mo'Nique Has Her Cake and a Boyfriend Too

I've always thought Mo'Nique was da bomb, so I decided to see Phat Girlz in a theater, despite the terrible reviews it's received. I went in with low expectations and found they were met and exceeded! Phat Girlz doesn't have much of a story. Mo'Nique is an aspiring fashion designer who toils at a department store. She lives with her skinny cousin and commiserates with a fellow shop girl whose ponytail and glasses are immediate signifiers to us that she will later be transformed into a sex bomb. Mo'Nique wins a trip to Palm Springs and happens upon a convention of hot Nigerian doctors who love girls with ample curves. Romance blooms but then fizzles due to a dumb misunderstanding, and I will leave it to you to wonder if our plucky plus-sized heroine will end up with the guy and the fashion career. Despite an uninspired script and pedestrian direction, Phat Girlz is a fun movie, only because Mo'Nique has true star power. She fills the screen, not only with her girth but also with her comedic skillz. You just can't help but like her. Phat Girlz is a must-see for all girls who shop at Lane Bryant like myself, because when do we ever see movies where the fat girl gets the hot guy? Or gets any guy at all? Have we ever seen a fat girl in a lead role (and no, I don't count Gwyneth in a fat suit)? With all the plus-sized gals in this country, I am really surprised this movie isn't lighting up the box office (it's only earned around $6.5 million after 4 weeks). I think the title might be a problem. Fat girls who lack Mo'Nique's confidence may not relish approaching the box office window and announcing "1 student for Phat Girlz". I bet they are buying tickets for Silent Hill and then sneaking in to Phat Girlz instead. I hope that Mo'Nique's next project will be a Thelma and Louise type girl-power buddy movie with Rusty Schwimmer - unapologetically large actresses unite and kick ass!

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