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The Early Word on Restaurant Comedy, The Slammin' Salmon

Today, The Slammin' Salmon is released in movie theaters nationwide. Created by the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (Super Troopers, Beerfest), it's the story of a Miami restaurant owner who holds a contest to see which of his waiters can earn the most money in a single night. From the early reviews, the general consensus is that a) restaurant industry workers will probably enjoy it most and b) it's pretty painfully bad. Some highlights of the carnage:

· Daily Herald: "I never thought Beerfest would look good in retrospect, but perhaps I was wrong."

· Philly Inquirer: "You would think any movie with the word 'salmon' in the title would have to be funny. Think again. The Slammin' Salmon is one crazily cringe-worthy kettle of fish."

· Times-Picayune: I suspect the filmmakers were aiming to make an Office Space for the wait staffs of white-tablecloth eateries ... It's doubtful, however, that The Slammin' Salmon will achieve anything near that same cult status."

· Seattle Times (title: "'Slammin' Salmon' serves up marathon of buffoonery"): "If you're in the mood for buffoonery, you'll probably enjoy this dumb-but-funny marathon of back-stabbing, physical gags, potty humor and appealing cast chemistry."

· Washington Post: "Much of the film's humor hovers around crotch level. If jokes about mental illness, terminal disease and sex with orangutans sound funny to you, go for it. "

· Boston Globe: "When is a comedy not a comedy? When it’s not all that funny ... Considering the action takes place over the course of one night, the choice to shoot the entire movie on a single interior set - the restaurant - was a risk. This might have worked for an intimate drama, but it spells claustrophobic death for a comedy, particularly one that relies on slapstick. It’s like being trapped in a nightclub and forced to endure an endless improv skit."

· New York Times: "The Slammin’ Salmon takes the premise of Big Night, one of the most sublime restaurant movies ever made, and tries to adapt it for the gross-out set. It succeeds. It’s your choice as to whether that’s good news or bad."

· Washington Post: "Calling all waiters and waitresses who hate your jobs, or at least your customers: You, ... will likely find much to chortle about in The Slammin' Salmon, the latest addition to the Gen-X comedy troupe's raunchy body of work. All others may be slightly mystified by the appeal of this painfully broad, if not entirely unfunny, farce revolving around the young and harried waitstaff of a busy Miami seafood restaurant. "

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