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BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE

Big Momma's House
Among the many "characters" in BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE is the film's titular structure, created by production designer Craig Steams. "We wanted to give the house a personality and soul," Friendly states. It's lived-in look can be seen in the leaf-strewn yard, crooked shutters and other homey imperfections. "I think the house is very realistic," Friendly adds. "It's filled with warmth, love and history, and you get a sense of what's made Big Momma who she is."

Four location scouts were sent to find what Gosnell wanted — a homey, southern feel and neighborhood atmosphere. After much searching, the perfect house was found. An exact replica of the house was built on two stages at Universal Studios, where approximately half the film was shot.

The homey feel of Big Momma's house has a strong impact on the characters, especially Malcolm. Says David Friendly: "At the beginning of the film Malcolm is a solitary bachelor figure who has a big-screen TV, a closet filled with suits, and not much else. By the end, he's cooking up a storm, and he's developed a whole new set of values that he's learned from becoming Big Momma and staying in her house. He's become a better man."

This emotional transformation largely is what gives BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE its heart. "I hope audiences will laugh harder than they expected," concludes Raja Gosnell, "but I also hope they'll also be surprised by how much heart the movie has, and that they'll be touched by Martin's emotional performance. I think they'll remember that as much as the big laughs."

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