What should the audience make of The Bellmen? A comedy wherein one of the bellhops of the title is a cactus in a uniform, and two of the other resort employees are puppets. Mind you, they are not human characters using puppets to interact with guests – the characters are puppets. If any of that made you giggle, then you will definitely enjoy Cameron Fife’s unpretentious, offbeat comedy.
Steve (Adam Ray) has been working as a bellman for over two decades, having gotten the job at the Tucson resort in high school. Now, he is the bell captain and perfectly content to do that for life. But, Steve pines for Kelly (Kelen Coleman), the head concierge, though she does not feel the same way. He believes that the best way to prove his worth to her is to go after a promotion to management. Of course, it would help if there was a position to go after.
“…believes that the best way to prove his worth to her is to go after a promotion to management.”
So, Steve gets his manager buddy Michael (co-writer Jason Alder) to fake a promotion. But, Steve has to train the new hire Josh (Josh Zuckerman); contend with a full capacity house for the conference of the cultish Spirit Refresh, led by the charming flimflammer Gunther Gochamonet (Thomas Lennon); and maintain appearances for when the owner Sid (Richard Kind) shows up later this same day. When exactly can Steve prove his love for Kelly?
Fife directs The Bellmen from a screenplay he co-wrote with Adler. To both their credit, and determent, the two focus on cramming in as many jokes, gags, and non-sequiturs as they possibly can into any given scene. If one joke doesn’t land for you, not to worry, another is coming in 5-seconds. This does mean that the broad strokes of the story are predictable. Of course, Gunther and the person who wants to turn the resort into a casino are one and the same. Obviously, Steve’s lies will catch up with him at the exact wrong time.
"…focus on cramming in as many jokes, gags, and non-sequiturs as they possibly can..."