If you have never been an underpaid restaurant employee–waiting on whiny customers, cooking food rapidly, or scrubbing scum from the dishes of complete strangers–these seven restaurant movies will make you respect the profession. Next time you refuse to leave a tip for no coherent reason or start out-complaining your infant children, think of these restaurant stories and relax yourself.
"Do the Right Thing"
Arguably director/screenwriter/actor/producer Spike Lee's greatest cinematic achievement, "Do the Right Thing" is one restaurant movie that burns with furious food-for-thought when it comes to race relations in America. Spike's character Mookie may be the only African-American in an all Italian-American pizzeria. But it is located in a predominately African-American neighborhood. So that ethnically insensitive "N-Word" that some of Mookie's co-workers spit out a little too freely is not going to create a healthy work environment, to say the least.
Director Jim Jarmusch expands his previous short film of the same title into a feature length series of vignettes about restaurant patrons socializing over some caffeine and nicotine. One moment Steve Buscemi is the waiter for Spike Lee's siblings, Joie Lee and Cinqué Lee. Then before you know it, two founding members of the hip-hop conglomerate Wu-Tang Clan, GZA, are receiving herbal tea from Bill Murray. With these character's preferences for ordering liquid meals, the tip jar must unfortunately be leaving a whole lot of room for improvement.
This all-star coming-of-age restaurant movie stars Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, and Steve Guttenberg who spend their late nights out at a Baltimore Maryland diner. Imagine having to wait on a table of guys that stay like five times longer than it takes to eat an average meal? That means five times less the amount of customers to receive tips from. As soon as they come in their server is probably already trying to trade tables with the new guy on staff.
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
Life could stand to get a whole lot better when you are constantly reminded that you are 30 and unmarried while working at your family's restaurant. Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) doesn't feel that she was blessed with the more magnetic looks of her sister Athena (Stavroula Logothetis). It must be hard to keep your domestic crisis separated from your job when they overlap on a daily basis.
Time can go by fast, even when you are not having fun. Ryan Reynolds and Justin Long play a pair of restaurant waiters that actually waited much longer than they would have liked to get what they would consider real careers established. Therefore, this is not the kind of restaurant staff that you want to harass because they are not above plotting subtle revenge against abrasive patrons.
This low-key 1988 Julia Roberts romantic "Lili Taylor and Annabeth Gish in a pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut. It is bad enough that the sibling characters played by Gish and Roberts have a sisterly rivalry going on–but they also have to work together. Try serving cheesy pies while you are brimming with envy from the fact that your sister will soon be leaving the pizzeria profession for an education at Yale University.