The first duty of everybody in life is to realize that they're a piece of shit. Selfish and self-centered and not very good. You're willing to sacrifice 20 thousand people in another country just so you can go to a Wings concert. You sacrifice the lives of a hundred thousand Chinese female babies just so you can rent this f'ing camera and do your stupid art project. No problem! You're a piece of shit. Once you realize you're a piece of shit it's not so hard to take. Because then you don't have ...
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This was a rather enjoyable film about a New York institution, a hole in the wall restaurant named "Shopsins". What makes this very mundane topic interesting is the owner and chef, Kenny Shopsin. Kenny is a man that is hard to describe without using expletives, as he's one of the nastiest and crustiest men I've even seen on film--and yet his customers adore him and his place. I guess it's a New York thing, as he often heaps abuse and invectives on people--many times, it seems, just because he likes being a jerk. Oddly, despite being a rather horrible person who throws out customers as often as the Yankees used to throw out managers, he's got some interesting and perhaps endearing qualities. First, while he talks like a sailor, he's no dummy--you can hear some pearls of wisdom buried between filthy comments. My favorite, though not especially deep or true is listed above in the summary! Second, he is truly an amazing chef who has concocted hundreds of unique dishes. Third, and I have no idea how, despite being a critical and horrible person, he's got a family that loves him, puts up with him and is loyal. I assume he's either got them drugged or has some voodoo spell to keep them in line!
The documentary IS Kenny. Seeing him in action may at times be repellent but it certainly never is dull! So I recommend you definitely watch this odd little confection. Now would I recommend you eat at his restaurant? Maybe not, as his favorite thing to do on the job is to smash flies with his swatter (hence the title of the film) and a place with that many dead flies in the kitchen scares me! Although, next time I'm in New York and I want some verbal abuse, perhaps I'll stop in with four of my friends for a bite or just to have a cup of coffee and make a phone call.
By the way, this is one of the only films I have ever seen that is rated R simply because of very, very harsh language. There is no violence or nudity--just a constant stream of cursing from this world champion misanthrope.
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