Fat Pizza

(Paul Fenech, Australia, 2003)


The first thing to note and admire in this movie is its willingness to include strong, outrageous jokes about topical issues including September 11 and the refugee crisis.

This automatically raises it a notch above most of the Australian-made comedy shows we see on television, which are content to merely riff on the latest fads and fashions of pop culture.

A spin-off from the wildly successful SBS television show Pizza, Fat Pizza offers us a busier-than-usual adventure involving Pauly (director Paul Fenech) and his pizza-delivery mates. Actually, it is less a narrative than a string of crazy fight scenes, propelled by the imminent event of the marriage of pizza chef Bobo (Johnny Boxer) and a turf-war with the ever-costumed staff of a Ronnie Macdoggle fast food chain.

I lost count of the number of punches in this film, which are far more numerous than even the songs on the soundtrack. By the time it reaches the final wedding scene (in which a gaggle of couples and their families fight for use of the overbooked church), most viewers will be feeling a little punch-drunk themselves.

But at least Fat Pizza has energy to burn, which is more than one can say for most Australian, big screen comedies of recent years.

It is also a movie made with a lot of brash confidence, and a sure sense of its audience. Links to the international genre of trash comedy are made, particularly via the film’s obsession with gay sex – and just why do the tough, straight guys in these films always end up being the weak-willed victims of predatory homosexuals?

The local ethos of ‘wog’ humour is also well catered for, via the usual array of broadly performed stereotypes: Greek studs, Italian mamas, violent Lebanese henchman, hysterical Asian gang leaders, and permanently doped-out Aussies.

MORE Australian comedy: The Nugget, A Man’s Gotta Do

© Adrian Martin April 2003

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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