The Shrimp on the Barbie (1990) – Film

“The Shrimp on the Barbie”

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This endearing, feel-good comedy from down under is about down-on-his-luck Carlos, who has recently moved to Australia. After a rough start. Carlos becomes employed at Manana, a Mexican restaurant which is in danger of foreclosure unless Carlos comes up with $5,000.  He agrees to work for spoiled, rich-girl Alex, who thinks that the only way she can marry her lover, Bruce, is to hire Carlos to make Bruce appear more appealing.

Full of faces familiar in late 80’s and early 90’s mainstream comedies and rom-coms.  Starring the talented and versatile (if rather manic in this) Cheech Marin as the soft hearted Carlos; the beautiful Emma Samms as the spoiled (“Who died and made you Darth Vader?”) hieress, Alex Hobart; Vernon Wells, as Bruce, Alex’s lover of questionable virtue; Jeanette Cronin as Maggie, Alex’s eccentric, horse and Mexican obsessed cousin; Bruce Spence, as Carlos’ business partner; and Terence Clooper as the very rich Sir Ian Hobart (my personal favorite performance of the movie).

Even though Marin and Samms have no believable chemistry as potential lovers, they have excellent chemistry as friends with deepening mutual respect.  Good character development throughout, especially Alex and Sir Ian.

I gave this movie 3 raspberry fru fru drinks.  It’s high energy over shadow’s the  simplistic plot.  This is a guilty pleasure movie for me.  It’s hard to say if I like this flick because of it’s over the top ridiculousness, which was obviously intentional,  or if I just have questionable taste.

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