Food Network star/inane catch phrase spouter/Smash Mouth's Steve Harwell lookalike and co-author/ungodly human hybrid of The Heat Miser, King Koopa, Duff Man, and a pair of Ed Hardy cargo pants Guy Fieri is not happy with the review the New York Times gave his Times Square restaurant Guy's American Kitchen and Bar. Pete Wells, the NY Times critic, gave a scathing review in which he pondered the restaurant's great mysteries like, "When we hear the words Donkey Sauce [an ingredient in one of Fieri's menu items], which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?" and "Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?" In short, Wells did not enjoy his trip to Flavor Town.
Since then, the takedown of the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host has gone viral, with both Fieri's defenders and detractors giving their opinion of the opinion. Now Fieri himself, who presumably took a break from finding different ways to improperly wear sunglasses, is chiming in. The spiky-haired personality appeared on The Today Show on Thursday morning to talk about what's being heralded as "the worst restaurant review in the paper's history."
"I just thought it was ridiculous," Fieri told anchor Savannah Guthrie of Wells' review. "There's good and there's bad in the restaurant business, but that to me went so overboard, it really seemed like there was another agenda. ... The tone, the sarcasm, the question style. He came in with a different agenda." Ah, yes that terrible liberal media out to take down hard-working Americans whose job is to literally stick his fingers in other people's food. (Watch it in reverse!) Fieri argued that it wasn't fair to critique a restaurant that was still in its earliest phases and that he is "striving to do it perfect."
Fieri's rep also released a statement to Hollywood.com regarding the review, which reiterated: "I wholeheartedly disagree with The New York Times’ Review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar. My philosophy on life is what drives my attitude towards food...We’ve only been open a short while, but I’ve seen countless people come to my restaurant – families, fans, tourists, and yes, even New Yorkers – looking to get away for an hour or two, and they’ve had a great experience and a meal that they enjoyed.... I’m proud of the food we put out, and always will be.”
Watch the full Today segment, in which Fieri assures his restaurant is "not just a name-stamp", here:
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economyIs anyone else desperately hoping Bobby Moynihan is warming up his Guy imitation for Saturday Night Live this weekend? "Good call, meatball!"
Do you think Pete Wells was too harsh on Guy Fieri? Or should the TV chef have had his restaurant up to snuff from Day 1? Do you also get a terrible, sinking feeling that one or more of the menu items could be glazed in Axe Body Spray? By the way, stay tuned, as Hollywood.com's Kelsea Stahler and Abbey Stone will make their way to Flavor Town and have their own full review of the Times Square eatery later today.
[Photo credit: NBC]
Additional reporting by Lindsey DiMattina.
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Jay Roach’s political comedy couldn’t have come at a better time. Just as the U.S. is beginning to suffer from the fatigue that comes with enduring the final months of the heated presidential campaign between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis give us exactly what we need: a good laugh.
The Campaign stars Ferrell as Conservative Senate shoe-in Cam Newton who gets himself in a bit of a campaigning pickle – if you can call a widely publicized sexual slip-up a pickle – and prompts the powers that be (an evil duo courtesy of the always fantastic John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) to bring in a ringer: Marty Huggins (Galifianakis). Huggins is flanked by his two trusty pugs and spends his days giving empty trolley tours of his tiny North Carolina town – a naïve happy existence that flummoxes his former political operator of a father (Brian Cox). But once Marty’s appointed campaign manager gangster Tim (a ruthless and surprisingly hilarious Dylan McDermott) Pretty-Womans the grinning familial misfit into a standard cutthroat political candidate the messy misinformation-driven games begin.
Everything we’ve ever feared or discovered about our shiny politicians during campaign season is magnified for the sake of this 90-minute cathartic joke. Right as Romney and Obama are getting headlines for the underhanded loosely regulated practice that is the campaign commercial Ferrell and Galifianakis’ characters take the seemingly lawless practice to a wonderful hyperbolic place where having a mustache makes you a friend of Sadam Hussein and splicing quotes to blaspheme your opponent is kosher. Oh wait that last part is actually true.
This story from frequent Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay along with Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell plays on the clichés of the campaign trail and dresses them up with baby-punching and butt-licking. Right out of the gate we’re treated to Ferrell cheating on his wife with a squealing harlot in a porta-potty. The writers have no mercy for the political world and coincidentally neither do most of us. And even as the film stretches the limits of our ability to stomach schlocky gross gags it’s not entirely uncalled for. In fact this over-the-top flick is practically an extension of the way many of us view the idea of campaigning in the U.S. – the key is abject cynicism.
Raunchy gags are the name of the game but The Campaign doesn’t shirk the necessary weight of its source material. Sure Ferrell’s requisite nude scene merits a few giggles but it’s the moments that are centered on speeches and strategy that really make the film. They’re rife with spot-on frustrated commentary about the emptiness of political speeches and promises and draped in the hilarious inflections of the films’ funnymen.
But beyond the parts that make us laugh hard enough to eke out a sideways tear The Campaign actually has something that most raunchy Ferrell comedies only purport deliver: a heart-warming gooey center. We can chalk this up to Galifianikis’ Marty who represents the political fantasy we try to believe in every election: the existence of a truly honest well-meaning politician. He’s the guy who runs on the platform that “Washington is a mess” and he actually believes he can clean it up. When Cam is running his mouth about loving America Marty is the one who actually offers up idealistic solutions. To some extent Marty is a character we’ve seen before but he’s this bright spot that keeps The Campaign from becoming a long-form rant.
In addition to Galifianakis’ lovable Marty we find gems in the form of McDermott – whose phantom-like presence throughout the film is always worth a laugh – and newcomer Katherine La Nasa as Rose Cam’s gut-wrenchingly opportunistic Barbie of a wife. Oddly enough a big name like Jason Sudeikis receives low-billing this time around and perhaps it’s because his role is a rather mild one for a man who’s solidified himself as the overgrown frat-boy du jour. Still it’s Galifianakis who carries the film and Farrell’s usual shtick that provides the platform for his character’s unavoidable goodness.
The Campaign is a surprising oddly adorable summer comedy combining the disgusting cringe-worthy visuals we’ve come to expect from a Will Ferrell flick with the brains we hope for any time we see the word “political” tied to a film.
As the film’s title indicates in no uncertain terms our heroine teenager Molly Hartley (Haley Bennett) is haunted by a tragic past that keeps coming back to torment her. Attempting to acclimate to a new school (Huntington Prep) Molly must deal with new classmates and also recurring bouts of nosebleeds and hallucinations -- particularly of her wild-eyed mother (Marin Hinkle) who had previously tried to stab her to death claiming that she was trying to save her from some sort of birthright. “The darkness is coming for you ” said Mom before plunging a pair of scissors into Molly’s chest. What’s really going on? Are Molly’s hallucinations of a psychotic or a supernatural nature? It takes a long while to get to that point by which time the answer should be obvious ... and long after audience interest has dwindled severely.
An interesting and attractive actress Haley Bennett (Music and Lyrics) doesn’t necessarily project the vulnerability that her tormented character would call for but she seems capable of carrying a film. Unfortunately this one lets her down -- and the problem lies entirely in the story. Everyone else in the cast is saddled with one-dimensional characters: Jake Weber as Molly’s perennially-worried dad; Chace Crawford as the resident hunk; Shanna Collins as a born-again classmate; and Shannon Marie Woodward as a more rebellious classmate. Ron Canada as the school superintendent is on and off the screen so fast one wonders why he bothered at all. There is however a nice if smallish turn by Nina Siemaszko as the school’s guidance counselor who’s clearly got her eye on these goings-on. The Haunting of Molly Hartley marks the feature directorial debut of Mickey Liddell who previously toiled on the small screen as a producer of Everwood and Jack & Bobby two shows with prominent teenaged characters -- so he has experience in the field. There are some interesting camera angles and technically the film is competent enough but the story unravels at the midway point and Liddell is unable to stop the skid. By the film’s (foregone) conclusion it’s begun to telegraph its shocks and its plot twists with increasing regularity. It’s well-made but it’s also flat. There’s not a particularly high body count but there’s obvious editing in some of the more violent scenes -- clearly an attempt to earn the film a PG-13 rating which is a far friendlier proposition at the box-office where this should earn some decent coin from the horror faithful.