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Phat Girlz Review
Jazmin Biltmore (Mo'Nique) works in a large clothing chain where the plus size section is relegated to a small corner of the store and all the staff try to avoid that section because they don't want to sell the hideous clothes to their customers. Jazmin who is plus size, or Phat as one of her co-workers describes her (Pretty, Hot and Thick), designs and makes her own clothing so she always looks fabulous and receives numerous compliments on her attire.
Growing up Jazmin had to develop some coping skills for all the taunting she had to put up with. Her main coping skill became her stinging tongue and her strong arms; neither of which she ever thinks twice of using. Every day she hears her Grandma telling her, "You are beautiful. Inside and out," but the childhood taunts still haunt her thoughts.
Jazmin's dream is to get her clothing line in production and on the curves of other thick women; unfortunately, she can't get to the head buyer of her company and the bank won't give her a loan. Just when she thinks she can't get any more depressed she wins an all expense paid trip to a five star resort in Palm Springs. So with her cousin and best friend in tow she heads off to Palm Springs for some rest and relaxation.
Once there, Jazmin and her best friend, who is also thick, quickly learn that Palm Springs is the stomping ground for the rich skinny butts. Everything is made for them, the robes, the massage tables, the guys... wait not all the guys. While hanging out by the poolside the three ladies are approached by an Africa God (I mean Doctor) named Tunde from Nigeria. The girls are shocked to learn he is not interested in the skinny cousin but in Jazmin. Tunde and his two friends invite the ladies along to a Nigerian dinner conference where they learn that there are indeed men in the world who know how to treat a lady with curves. All the men think Jazmin and her "plum" friend are luscious and secretly chide in Nigerian that her cousin is a toothpick.
Unfortunately, Jazmin isn't used to all this positive energy and can't believe it for what it is. Genuine affection. Her own insecurities cause her to self-destruct and she ends up sabotaging her relationship with Tunde. She flees back home where she wallows and binges for three days on pizza and an assorted junk food bed buffet before getting a hold of herself.
Jazmin finally comes to the realization that she never will be a size 5 and that she has to start living on her own terms if she's going to enjoy life before she dies. With the help of her friends she steps up and gets her designs noticed. Next thing she knows, she's an international success in plus size clothing design in charge of a hot new line of clothing affectionately called "Thick Madame" in Tunde's honor. But she still has one major regret she needs to take care of.
Phat Girlz is a comedy for sure but there are surprising emotional scenes when Mo'Nique breaks down that I never expected from this comedian. The main theme of this film is the power of kindness and respect. It is definitely a chick flick with attitude. The best thing about this film is that Jazmin didn't have to lose 10, 20, 50 or 100 pounds to find her bliss. Phat Girlz has a number of great songs including Brick House, So Luscious, and African Queen (I love that song!). And some memorable Mon'Niquisms like: "I am Fat-tabulous!" and "We ain't got a weight problem. You just have a problem with our weight." The film pokes fun at a few stereotypes like the junk food buffet bed mentioned above and again when Jazmin and her friend OVER order at the fast food restaurant.
Truth be told, I was resistant to watch this movie because I have never really been a huge Mo'Nique fan (Mo'Nique: One Night Stand was a huge disappointment) despite her fat acceptance popularity but I'm glad I did. Fat chics need more films that highlight their lives and are not all about changing the number on the scale to find happiness and success. It's really a feel good movie.
Phat Girlz is available from Amazon.com.
Phat Girlz is available from Amazon.ca.
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