Pizza Shop: The Movie (2013) – By Philip Smolen

Pete (Robert Bielfelt) still works as a local pizza delivery man even though he’s almost 40 years old. He’s despised by the other 20-something slackers who work at the shop, including Jason (Cian Patrick O’Dowd), Fred Sanders (Jason Schnieder) and his brother Todd (Matthew Pohlman). They all hate Pete for his cheery outlook on life and dedication to his job. So they all do their best to harass Pete into quitting, but nothing seems to work. Then one day Jason decides to get the best of Pete and scare him into leaving. The prank works and Pete runs away from the shop. But after an epiphany with his alter ego, Pete decides that it’s better to give than receive and he returns to the shop with revenge on his mind.

The restaurant-themed flick is a familiar type of movie and all of us probably have one or two favorites. Unfortunately, “Pizza Shop: The Movie” is an inglorious addition to the genre. This movie is crass, sophomoric and downright disgusting and sitting through it may depend on your tolerance for seeing bodily functions onscreen. If you’re into poop and diarrhea and seeing it gleefully and proudly displayed, then cozy up to the toilet my friend. Your prayers have been answered.

The movie has precious little going for it. Most of the movie consists of the actors idly standing around the pizza shop (which doesn’t even look like a pizza shop) and griping about how much they hate Pete. Writer/director George O’Barts fails to develop any likeable characters. They’re all simple caricatures and everyone is either cruel and mean spirited or a simpleton. As you might expect, the acting is uniformly unconvincing.

The film’s “jokes” consist of either obvious double-entendres that are groan-inducing or horrible age, racial and sexual stereotypes. The film is merely a series of vignettes with each succeeding scene trying to outdo the next.

Outrageousness has its place in the movies. But for the outrageousness to really have the desired effect, it has to happen to characters that you care and root for (or against). “Pizza Shop: The Movie” has nothing going for it except for the grossness factor. It’s just lewd, crude and rude. And that’s a terrible shame.

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