Paul Fenech developed, produced, wrote, and performed in Fat Pizza, a 2003 Australian comedy film based on the Pizza television series. It was produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and SBS Independent. It was released on April 10, 2003, by Roadshow Entertainment and grossed $2,146,843 at the box office. The movie was in buzz, or the right word would be in controversy because of its portrayal of racial stereotypes, vulgar humor, and ethnic slurs. Though this movie was critically approved, many people still called out these elements in the film. Let us detail these controversies and how they impacted the audience and the movie.
Fat Pizza’s Controversies
- Because of its filthy comedy, racial stereotypes, and ethnic slurs, the film sparked outrage. Some have said that the film’s depiction of ethnic minorities relates vulgarity to ethnic identity and social class.
- The film is also accused of deceptively portraying ethnic minorities as parodies to obscure its detrimental effects. It, like other Australian ethnic-minority lead comedies, is an example of self-stereotyping.
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A counterargument to the controversy
- The film features ethnic minorities traditionally underrepresented in Australian comedy, such as Lebanese and Vietnamese individuals. It exemplifies ethnic minorities speaking up for themselves and defying popular stereotypes.
- As a result, Fat Pizza, among other films, represents a transition in Australian media representation of minorities from sensitive, serious portrayals to market-driven fun (Khorana, 2019). The film’s positive reception is attributed to a big, young, ethnic-minority audience seeking an outlet for their frustrations with being marginalized in Australian media.
Addressing all the controversies, Paul Fenech said, “It’s a really difficult place for a lot of people to survive, and that’s why people come to my shows, whether they are Greek or bogan.”
Where Is Fat Pizza Filmed?
The movie was well-received by the critics. The film received a 3 out of 5 rating from Adrian Martin, a Ph.D. in Film Style, who praised it for its bold, outrageous humor, which elevated it above other Australian comedies. Martin praised the film’s vitality, audacity, and appeal to its intended demographic. The film’s inappropriate comedy was “extremely entertaining,” according to Louise Keller of Urban Cinefile, who complimented it for being irreverent, high-energy, and over-the-top.
While Bobo Gigliotti, an aged, virginal pizza cook, waits for his Southeast Asian mail-order wife, his unfortunate employees resort to immature antics to get through the monotony of wage servitude in Sydney. However, when the grand opening of a competitor occurs and pie-peddler Phat Pizza threatens to close Gigliotti’s already-broken restaurant, the desperate chef must fight to establish himself as the “big cheese.”
The Cast Includes
- Paul Fenech
- Tahir Bilgic
- Desan Padayachee
- Paul Nakad
- John Boxer
The movie shooting location was Sydney, Australia. The opening scene shows the Canterbury-Bankstown area where the restaurant is set up.
The Canterbury-Bankstown area location was at the bass hill and chullora, and in the Sydney’s Hills District, locations such as Kellyville and Norwest Business Park were the places where most scenes were shot.
The television show that inspired the film was renewed for two more seasons on SBS, which aired in 2005 and 2007. On November 27, 2014, a crossover film starring Fat Pizza and Housos, another Paul Fenech-created television show, was released.
Paul Fenech relaunched the Fat Pizza television show for a sixth season in 2019, premiering on 7mate in November.