Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Movie Review: The Shrimp on the Barbie... Have Shrimp? Will Travel

Australians will tell anyone that shrimp in Australia are called prawns and barbie is slang for barbecue. So, for American audiences, the title of the film became “The Shrimp on the Barbie.” Except in Europe, where the title was changed, since Mattel owns the brand: Barbie. If you want to sound cosmopolitan, be sure to say when visiting Australia to "throw another prawn on the barbie."

In this movie, the shrimp, or prawn, on the barbie is Carlos, an American transplant in Australia, who jumps from one fire to another in this romantic comedy.


The Shrimp on the Barbie

Down on his luck and working in a Mexican restaurant in Australia, an American tourist is hired by an icy heiress to pose as an obnoxious new boyfriend in an attempt to make her father accept her current boyfriend.


*****Spoiler Time*****

The Breakdown

Poor Carlos (played by Cheech Marin), he moves from America to Australia to hit it big: financially. His girlfriend stayed behind as he chased his dreams to become stable and secure, in order to marry her. After he flies Downunder, he discovers that his prospects go from bad to worse. Not only is the mansion that was supposed to be awaiting him a bust, but so is the Mexican restaurant he is employed at as a waiter. Soon, he receives a Dear John letter from his girlfriend, who is set to marry his best friend. To top it all off, he screws up a high-profile birthday at the restaurant.

Depressed, Carlos is desperate to help his boss save the restaurant from foreclosure, he ends up taking a deal from Alexandra Hobart (played by Emma Samms), a rich, entitled woman whose only goal is to marry Bruce. Her father sees that her taste in men has declined, but drives a hard bargain with Alexandra: give up Bruce and the next boyfriend, no matter how terrible, he will approve. This sets into motion Alexandra recruiting the bad waiter, Carlos, from her father’s birthday party for assistance for the sum of five thousand dollars.

Carlos sees a way to save the restaurant. Alexandra sees a way to beat her father at his own game. On the periphery, her father (played by Terrence Cooper) overhears a conversation between Carlos and Alexandra about their deal, and sets them up as well as Bruce.

In the end, Alexandra realizes that the sensitive Carlos has more redeeming qualities as a man than the exuberant and crude Bruce. With her new perspective, she admits to her father what she had done. He in turn hands her the photographs that show the real Bruce in action: sleeping with her best friend and beating up Carlos.

After showing their mutual friends the photos at Bruce’s birthday party, Alexandra rushed to the Mexican restaurant to apologize to Carlos. Unfortunately, Carlos packed his things and bought a return ticket to American. Alexandra rushes to the airport, but the plane has already taxied out. Her father calls the president of the company and has Carlos escorted to the terminal.

The pair is reunited. With the help of her father’s investment in the Mexican restaurant, it is saved. Carlos sees his dreams of helping his friend, gaining financial improvement, and finding love come true.

The Review

Carlos: Who died and made you Darth Vader, huh?

The Shrimp on the Barbie is an underrated and understated film. It will never win an Academy Award, but this 90s film has its merits. The characters grow and change into better people, except for the two antagonists, of course.

The protagonists come to some personal revelations. Carlos learns that with perseverance he can achieve his goals. Alexandra learns that not everything that glitters is gold. Diamonds in the rough can be more precious. Her father learns that his daughter is a grown woman who may need guidance, but not his manipulation, and refried beans are good!

And, watch out for Joeys! They pack a mean punch.

Purchased from Prime Video.

Note: This film was released at 86 minutes with a PG-13 rating. The video version features a minute of additional footage (including nudity) and is rated R.


The Tally

My review will be posted on Prime as well as IMDB.

Prime... 4.5 (4) out of 5 stars

IMDB... 8.5 (8) out of 10 stars

Have a great and wonderful day.


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