|It's pretty hard to
mess up coming-of-age comedies aimed at the summer youth market.
Nobody expects them to be that good to begin with, so all you have
to do is keep the mood light and the breasts bare.
OOPS! Dish Dogs seems to have missed one of the essentials. It
takes itself seriously.
I guess it really isn't possible for a movie in this genre to be
pretentious, but this movie comes close, with at least 15 quotes
from famous philosophers. The surfer boys in this film aren't fun-lovin'
stoners, but budding philosophers who are trying to pare away all
the inessentials in their lives so that they can concentrate on
having their epiphany. So they surf only for the intrinsic zen
value, and they wash dishes because it is the simplest, least
demanding thing they can do, allowing them plenty of time to think.
They even turn down hot babes and good jobs because babes and money
distract a man from his life's quest. It's the Road House of surfer
The film takes itself so seriously that it has commentary on the
DVD. Commentary? About a 96-minute Matthew Lillard movie that never
got released? Oh, come now.
Say, here's a tip for you youngsters. If you want to make a comedy -
it will really help if you try making it funny. Just food for
Having said all that, I need to point out that there is a very
good reason to rent this movie. That reason is Shannon Elizabeth. If
you don't recognize the name, you'll remember her as Nadia, the
gorgeous Eastern European babe whose nudity was broadcast over the
internet in American Pie. In this movie (made earlier, but released
later) she was a little younger and fresher, and she still had the
curve in her nose and her unenhanced bosom. And she looks even
better here than she did in American Pie. Plus, freed from the
responsibility of her inept Pie accent, she was able to act as
herself, and that self is very charming, with an electrifying smile.
Now here is a summary of the plusses:
- Shannon Elizabeth works as a stripper in the film, and her
entire routine is shown on camera. (She kept the bottom on, but it
was a thong, and there were rear shots.)
- Shannon Elizabeth is topless some more in the deleted scenes,
trying on bras in a changing room, and asking for an evaluation of
- There is also a music video on the DVD, and Shannon Elizabeth
is also topless in that, with at least two more camera set-ups not
used in the movie.
- Shannon Elizabeth also spends much of the music video playing
frisbee on the beach in a bikini, which is not as good as Shannon
playing naked, but is better than any other human activity
Now, those are some pretty strong plusses. In fact, I think all
movies should feature a couple minutes of her naked. On The
Waterfront, The Seventh Seal, The Muppet Movie, Battleship Potemkin
- pretty much anything could be improved by Shannon's body.
On the negative side, it includes two of the all-time lowlights
in the history of cinema: