A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie is the fourth feature film by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard (Super Troopers, Broken Lizard's Club Dread, Beerfest), which specializes in vulgar, raunchy humor filled with foul language. Neither the comedians nor the material are terribly smart, daring, or memorable, and the movie seems destined to appeal to the Lizard's core cult audience and no one else. However, for first timers, the characters are mildly likeable and the jokes occasionally find purchase. Aside from the nonstop cursing and sex talk, the movie ventures into comic violence and some sexual situations. Broken Lizard fans will want to see it, but only those over 16 should get the chance.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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Overall this movie was a little bit over the top reality wise, but it was played in a situation that is rarely used in movies
What's the story?
A former boxing champ Cleon "Slammin'" Salmon (Michael Clarke Duncan) runs a popular and well-regarded seafood restaurant. He announces that he needs to make $20,000 in one night to pay off a gambling debt, even though it has never before been done. So the house manager (Kevin Heffernan) cooks up a contest to get the waiters motivated into selling more food and drinks. Unfortunately, just about everything goes wrong: one character goes off his meds, another gets burned in the face, and yet another swallows an expensive engagement ring. The customers cause more problems, such as a man who takes up an entire booth for the evening to read "War and Peace" and drink lemon water. Can this hapless wait staff pull it together and save the day?
Is it any good?
The ensemble cast is fresh-faced and ready to embarrass themselves with an endless string of vulgar, profanity-filled, and sex-related dialogue. Even if they aren't quite ready to deal with adult relationships or emotions. Likewise, the humor isn't particularly intelligent or memorable, but occasionally, some of these shallow jokes will stick and cause giggles even in the stiffest of viewers.
Oscar-nominee Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile) is a high point, playing a spoiled, privileged, retired boxing champ who usually gets his way, and if he doesn't, he's ready to use his fists; he wears his stupidity proudly and cheerfully. Actor-director Kevin Heffernan captures a fairly real workplace atmosphere, even if most of the incidents there are the stuff of low comedy and old films. Overall, the movie is harmless, and will mostly appeal to already-converted Broken Lizard fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the "champ," who owns the restaurant. Is he a bully? What makes him so? Who stands up to him, and how?
Most of the movie consists of a contest to see which waiter can make the most money in one night. Is the contest friendly? Or mean? Do the waiters genuinely like one another, in spite of their insults?
What made you laugh in this movie? Was it a funny line of dialogue, or something more visual? Why was it funny?
- In theaters: December 11, 2009
- On DVD or streaming: April 13, 2010
- Cast: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Michael Clarke Duncan
- Director: Kevin Heffernan
- Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: pervasive language and sexual references
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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