|Lions Gate || R - 93 minutes || October 7, 2005|
|Reviewer: Elyusha Vafaeisefat || Posted On: 2005-10-08|
Writer(s): Rob McKittrick (written by)
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, Anna Faris, David Koechner, John Francis Daley, Kaitlin Doubleday, Chi McBride, Luis Guzman, Alanna Ubach, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Vanessa Lengies, Andy Milonkis
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“Never mess with those who handle your food.”
That seems to be the cardinal rule of those who work in the food business. Waiting... is the latest teen comedy that takes a look at work in the food business, but more specifically, employees at Shenanigan's restaurant. To pass the time, the employees create games involving a certain male body part as well as adding their own “spices” to the plates of customers who cross the line.
The film itself doesn’t really have any specific storyline that it follows. The film begins with Dean (Justin Long) who works at Shenanigan’s, reflecting on the fact that he really hasn’t moved forward after he graduated high school. His mother tells him how successful one of his old classmates has become since graduating high school and college. So from this point on, Dean begins to ponder why he should continue to work at the restaurant. However, the restaurant’s General Manager Dan (with a hilarious performance from veteran comedian David Koechner), offers Dean an assistant manager job. From this point on, Dean struggles to decide whether he wants to stay at Shenanigan’s and “move up,” or leave to pursue something else in life. As I mentioned before, the film tries to act like this is the main plot of the film; but honestly, the film is nothing more than short episodes that work like a sitcom. Nonetheless, those episodes turn out to be very funny.
The restaurant staff has a cast of crazy characters which include Monty (Ryan Reynolds), Raddimus (Luis Guzman), Serena (Anna Faris), Calvin (Robert Patrick Benedict), Naomi (Alanna Ubach) as well as dozens of other characters. Reynolds leads the pack as the veteran of the restaurant. Unfortunately, Reynolds seems to be stuck playing the exact same character he plays in every film he is in (which is Van Wilder essentially), the smart ass. His jokes are all mostly hit and miss, which makes his character sometimes annoying. The film gets most of its laughs from the supporting group of actors including comedian Dane Cook, Andy Milonakis, Chi McBride and the aforementioned Guzman and Koechner.
I must admit that I did enjoy watching the film very much. The laughs were fairly consistent. However, I did want to see more of a focus from the film as opposed to just gross out humor every 3 minutes. All that aside, the film does include several very funny scenes including revenge on a woman who is rude to one of the waitresses, Calvin’s ever ending quest to try and urinate in public, Raddimus attempting to teach the new employee the penis game, Naomi’s mood swings, as well as Dan’s advances on the underage hostess, Natasha. I am sure many moments in the film are familiar to those who have worked in restaurants before. However, I must say that many of the moments in the film are relatable to what I’ve gone through at places I’ve worked even though I’ve never worked in the food business before. So I thought the film did a solid job at creating the atmosphere of a workplace, although not as well as a film like Office Space was able to do.
Fans of the Scary Movie franchise, Super Troopers, Van Wilder or Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle are likely to enjoy the film for what it is, which is a gross out teen comedy. Those looking for a plot or more than just crude jokes will likely not find any enjoyment from the film. Overall, I have to say that the watching experience was a fun one. It’s worth seeing for the performances from Koechner, Guzman, McBride and Dane Cook among others. Nevertheless, the film seems to be as forgettable as Van Wilder and Super Troopers were. Given the strong talent in the cast, one could only wish that the script would have been worked on a little more. Waiting… has its moments, but ultimately the film seems to be hollow and forgettable, which may be what the target audience for this film is looking for.