Despite the demand for comedies set behind the scenes at a restaurant, there seems to be so little to choose from. The most popular would have to be the questionable, Waiting starring Ryan Reynolds, which might as well been a sequel to Van Wilder, as the actor’s range did not stray far from what we learned to expect from him.
“CUT! Ryan, this is a movie, stop looking at the camera”
The challenge the restaurant comedy faces is the old “messing with people’s food” routine, which hopes to make audiences laugh grossing them out. But, unless you’re a psychopath cleaning your guns in a basement somewhere, laughing uncontrollably at the Shermanator eating a pube pizza in She’s All That,
then you’re just not going to find “the gross out” funny. The majority of us did not laugh at Two Girls One Cup; if we did, then Fear Factor would still be on TV. The point is, basing a comedy around tampering with food is setting it up for failure.
Real Life = NOT FUNNY Beavis
Luckily I wasn’t the only one that noticed this, and the Broken Lizard Comedy Troupe figured out a way to make a comedy set entirely in a restaurant that works.
The story is simple. Former Heavyweight Champion; Cleon “Slammin” Salmon (Michael Clarke Duncan) is the owner of posh Miami seafood restaurant. After a weekend of Japanese Albino Hunting, (“It’s all the rave in Japan”) Champ finds himself 20K in debt with the Yakuza. He leans on the restaurant’s manager Rich Parente (Kevin Heffernan) to come up with the 20k in one night. It’s then up to Rich to motivate his wait staff to earn more money in one night than ever before.
The Slammin’ Salmon most likely snuck by you. I never saw a preview or even knew it existed, before accidentally stumbling over it searching through Netflix. It is a movie you can watch over and over again, each time catching something to make you laugh you never noticed before.
Michael Clarke Duncan should have you laughing in every scene. His dialog comes off as natural and completely ad-libbed. You can tell they had fun making this movie, which comes across while watching.
Broken Lizard is best known for the cult classic Super Troopers, as well as a handful of films that are hit or miss in most circles. Their films are a combination of goofy over-the-top antics, one-liners, and subtle humor, picking up right where National Lampoon seemed to abandon us back in the 80’s.
Remember when seeing National Lampoon’s in the title meant it was going to be funny? What happened?
So if you are watching with a moody wife, someone that doesn’t get un-realistic Dumb and Dumber type humor, or someone that just got back from a funeral, you will probably not enjoy this.
As I’ve learned from other Broken Lizard movies, it’s not going to “change your mood,” but if you’re prepared for a silly comedy, they usually deliver… and this one does.
“RENT IT! Or I’m gonna shove your ass up your ass!”
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever the twins are on screen together
Take a Drink: whenever Champ mispronounces a word or name
Drink a Shot: whenever the busboy takes a shot of Blue Caruso
Drink a Shot: whenever Champ shouts “WHATEVER MOTHAFUCKA”