In The BBQ, Darren ‘Dazza’ Cook (Shane Jacobson) is a husband, father and barbeque salesman. He’s passionate about his regular Saturday barbeque even though it annoys his wife, Diane (Julia Zemiro), and is putting some strain on his marriage. Dazza believes that he’s a direct descendant of Captain James Cook and, in homage to his ancestor, still uses an antique barbeque. He claims his barbeque belonged to Cook.
After an unfortunate food poisoning incident, things start to go wrong for Dazza. Luckily he’s given the opportunity to redeem himself by competing in an annual steak cooking competition, aided by an exiled Scottish chef, ‘The Butcher’ (Magda Szubanski).
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Family breakdown; competition; alcoholism; racial stereotypes; gender stereotypes; colonialism
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
The BBQ has some violence. For example:
- In several scenes, The Butcher attacks other characters. She uses abusive language and threatens them with knives, cleavers and so on.
- Dazza’s father-in-law punches him in the face and stomach.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, The BBQ has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- There are vomiting scenes at the barbeque.
- There are graphic scenes of meat being chopped up.
Younger children in this age group might be worried by the violent and disturbing scenes mentioned above.
Nothing of concern
Nothing of concern
The BBQ has some sexual references. For example:
- Dazza is talking about his old V8 panel van and says, ‘I got Diane pregnant in it, twice. Had to sell it though – two kids was enough’.
- Mr Yoshimura passionately massages a steak. Dazza says, ‘Shall we leave these two alone?’
- The Butcher insists that the kitchen is ‘clean as a nun’s … night dreams’.
- A character says, ‘Master, or is she your mistress?’
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The BBQ shows some use of substances. For example, The Butcher drinks whisky and vodka in two scenes, including one joke scene in which she pours two glasses of whisky and drinks both. It later emerges that she’s ‘battling the demon drink’.
Nudity and sexual activity
Nothing of concern
The following products are displayed or used in The BBQ:
- IGA Supermarkets
- Barbecues Galore
- Masterfoods sauce
- Yalandra Fine Foods (an actual shop in Albury, NSW)
- Manhorne Smokers plus other barbeque equipment
- Ford and Holden cars.
The BBQ has some coarse and abusive language and racial slurs.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The BBQ is a mildly entertaining Australian comedy about a seemingly ‘ordinary’ white, middle-class man and his family. They’re quintessential ‘Aussie battlers’.
The movie glosses over white colonial history in Australia and glorifies Captain James Cook. There’s a clumsy attempt to acknowledge the controversial nature of this theme, which might offend some viewers. Dazza has an Aboriginal friend at his barbeque, to whom he says, ‘I know Captain Cook isn’t the most popular with some people’, and ‘My backyard is your backyard’. There are also many clichéd racial and gender stereotypes, which you might want to talk about with your children.
The BBQ isn’t recommended for children under 8 years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 8-10 years.