The Shrimp on the Barbie

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The Shrimp on the Barbie
The Shrimp on the Barbie.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Michael Gottlieb (as Alan Smithee)
Produced by R. Ben Efraim
Written by Grant Morris
Ron House
Alan Shearman
Starring Cheech Marin
Emma Samms
Vernon Wells
Bruce Spence
Carole Davis
Music by Peter D. Kaye
Cinematography James Bartle
Edited by Fred A. Chulack
Distributed by Unity Pictures
Release date
August 31, 1990
Running time
87 minutes
Country New Zealand
United States
Language English
Box office $458,996 (USA)

The Shrimp on the Barbie, released in Australia as The Boyfriend from Hell, is a 1990 comedy film directed by Michael Gottlieb (under the pseudonym Alan Smithee) and starring Cheech Marin. The title is derived from a line in a 1980s series of popular ads starring Paul Hogan promoting tourism to Australia: "I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you".


Australian heiress Alexandra Hobart's (Emma Samms) father has disapproved of every boyfriend she has brought home to meet him, including her burly, life-of-the-party fiancé, Bruce (Vernon Wells). After a disastrous birthday party, Alexandra decides to challenge her father (Terence Cooper) with the worst boyfriend she can find. She hires a down-on-his luck waiter from a Mexican restaurant in Sydney, Australia named Carlos (Cheech Marin) to masquerade as her new boyfriend to persuade her father into allowing her to marry Bruce. Needing the money to save the failing restaurant, Carlos agrees to the ruse; acting loud, belligerent and obnoxious, shocking everyone in the Hobart household and their high-society friends at a party with his crude behavior, warranting unwanted attention from Alex's eccentric cousin, Maggie (Jeanette Cronin) in the process.

After a while however Alex discovers that in spite of his rather crass and unrefined ways Carlos is actually a very caring and sensitive person and she even finds herself falling for him. Alex's father, however, doesn't buy the act, and hires a detective to photograph Bruce and Alex's best friend, Dominique (Carole Davis) in a compromising position. Carlos gets wind of the infidelity and attempting to save Alexandra from being hurt ends up assaulted by Bruce. Alex outs Bruce and Dominique at a party before racing to the airport to mend fences with Carlos. Hoping she's not too late, Alex has the plane called back to the airport by her father. Realizing how noble Carlos is, Mr Hobart invests in Carlos' restaurant thereby saving it from closing.

Principal Cast[edit]

External links[edit]