Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Bad taste headed for the underpants with American Pie. Suddenly, sex and teenagers were a hoot. Spanking the monkey and oral whatevers and orgasms (especially premature ohnonotagains) and homemade yoghurt became hilarious. For some.

Now gross-out comedy keeps pushing the condom. It's no longer virginal embarrassment, or Stifler's mom, that gets the laughs/groans. It's the package. Pants down gags are as loud and lively as fart jokes, but willy waving in a restaurant kitchen is a whole new area of squirmage, hitherto unexplored.

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Here's how it goes. New (shy) kid arrives for work at the restaurant. Old hand and commitment-free girl magnet Monty (Ryan Reynolds) shows him the ropes. "How do you feel about frontal male nudity?" he asks. The kid says, "Excuse me?"

Monty explains the game. If you can flash your bits to another member (no pun intended) of staff - it's a guy thing, "but not gay" - you have the right to kick him in the pants as many as three times. There are grades of exposure, each being rewarded with an extra boot up the bum.

As well as blokes jumping out from behind fridge doors with their dingalings dangling, there is another game. It's called waiting, as in waiting-at-table, and, of course, cuisine politics ("Push the fish, it's about to turn").

There are two rules in life: tell your girl that you love her at least twice a day and never be rude to a waiter. The first is based on a generalised observation that the female of the species can never be insecure enough and the second has its roots in common sense.

This movie demonstrates in nauseating detail how chefs garnish a dish with excreta and pubic hairs, because a customer has complained too loudly, and you watch them eat it and laugh till you're sick (or should that be the other way round?).

Despite the limitations of genitalia humour, there are good character studies on the level of Anchorman and The 40 Year Old Virgin. Especially memorable is waitress Naomi, who is tiddly tiny, but so angry her blood pressure could stop a charging rhino at 20 paces. She may be a one-gag gal, but Alanna Ubach seethes with style. Also to be cherished is David Koechner, as Dan, the self-important restaurant boss, whose inadequacy in all things romantic is matched by his man management skills.

Why are losers so much funnier than lavatories?

Reviewed on: 20 May 2006
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Low grade genitalia humour in a restaurant kitchen.
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Stephen Carty **1/2


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