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Movie Review: Phat Girlz

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Monique’s Phat Girlz has a unique concept — two plus-sized women go in search of love and success. It’s a freestyle of a movie that has no real central plot, but a theme that it holds on to. It’s too bad the script loses it in bad jokes and stereotypes.

Monique plays Jazmin, a plus-sized fashion designer who seeks success and love while never achieving either. Even as she attempts to sell her clothes for big women, it appears no one sees the potential of such a trend. She moans and groans about these failures in her professional life with her friend Stacey (Kendra C. Johnson), who works at a department store as supervisor with Jazmin.

Jazmin’s life beyond business is no better; she has no man, and is constantly hounded by her cousin (Joyful Drake) who has the ideal body shape Jazmin longs for. Things change for the better when they decide to travel down to Palm Springs for a weekend of R&R. There, Jazmin and Stacey meet up with Nigerian doctors whose ideal woman is not the standard of America.

Will Jazmin find true love and get her clothing line together? Will Stacey find love as well? The truth is I was far more interested in Kendra C. Johnson’s Stacey than Monique’s Jazmin.

The difference between the two characters is simple; quiet desperation is far more interesting than the talk-show approach of screaming and yelling. Whenever Jazmin was confronted with an issue, she went into a series of rants and loud jokes. Stacey’s approach seemed a bit more reserved and subtle. When she finally comes out of her shell, I felt myself drawn to her a bit more. In finding love, Jazmin just seemed to moan even more.

There has to be a happy medium in every political and social issue, especially when it makes it to film. For Phat Girlz, Monique’s Jazmin constantly complains about “skinny bitches.” Let’s get this straight — not everyone is looking for Lindsay Lohan. It’s also a bad idea to put white women on blast once again.

Yes, it’s bad that black men celebrate white women more than black women; that’s the game of love. If a black man can pick a white woman over a black one, than black women should do the exact same thing in their search for a man. Something New already proved that was a growing trend.

It also seemed a bit crazy to constantly hear the Nigerian love interests of Jazmin and Stacey constantly referring to their culture’s need for nakedness. I would have written in a scene where the both of them got a slap for that one. It’s just uncomfortable to see black men sent in the cathouse of raging hormones every single time we are portrayed in a movie.

Phat Girlz could have been a film of big laughs if it managed to find the subtle humor in the very issue it talks about. As it is, the movie is just big and loud and ultimately a very passable time at the movies. I do hope Kendra C. Johnson gets more roles as she seems to carry herself with a bit more class than Monique does.

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About Matthew Milam

  • I was on the fence about seeing this movie before…now I think I’ll just pass. Not really a ‘Monique’ fan, anyway.