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WAITING… (R) (2005)

Lions Gate Films

Official Site

Directors: Rob McKittrick

Producers: Jeff Balis, Jay Rifkin, Adam Rosenfelt

Written by: Rob McKittrick

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, Anna Faris, David Koechner, Luis Guzmán, Chi McBride, John Francis Daley, Wendie Malick, Catherine Doubleday, Robert Patrick Benedict, Alanna Ubach, Vanessa Lengies, Max Kasch, Andy Milonakis, Dane Cook, Jordan Ladd, Emmanuelle Chriqui


If this film was a Hollywood pitch and you were speaking with a high-powered studio executive, one could easily synopsize the new low-brow comedy Waiting… in one phrase more or less—Van Wilder in Bennigan’s. Waiting… provides a look at 24 hours of the average day for the waitstaff at Shenanigan’s—from the dead early hours, to the dinner rush, to the scandalous parties at night.

Dean (Long) is drifting through life. He’s been a waiter at Shenanigan’s since he graduated high school, and lacks ambition to do otherwise. However, today is a little different as the realization dawns on Dean that if he doesn’t move soon, he might accept the new assistant manager position and end up working at Shenanigan’s for the rest of his life, like his idiotic boss, Dan (Koechner). Dean’s buddy Monty (Reynolds) remains content with his current lot in life, playing the staff genital-flashing game and picking up and sleeping with minors. Unfortunately for a non-fan of “Two Guys, A Girl, And A Pizza Place” and Van Wilder, Waiting… is saturated with Reynolds and his usual, tired one-note character. But I’m happy to say that Anna Faris’s typical character of “air-headed slut” seems to have grown somewhat; here, portraying the waitress Serena, she’s just “slut.”

The cast is rounded out by a lot of other actors you might know from TV, video games, “Beakman’s World,” or elsewhere. Raddimus (Guzman) is the chef and pioneer of said genital-flashing competition. Guzman is excellent as usual, and I enjoyed watching the character enjoy public intercourse with his bartender girlfriend. Bishop is the wise dishwasher whom everyone goes to for counseling and advice. Naomi (Ubach) has some obvious anger issues as well as an unhealthy addiction to curse words. Avert your eyes when Naomi reveals her dark secret. I think you’ll know when. Calvin (Benedict) is a wishy-washy and gullible personality, always eager to please a waitress who has no romantic interest in him and his shy bladder. There’s also the lesbian bartender, Tyla (Chriqui), intelligent enough to realize the power of her position and take advantage of it by picking up chicks. Man-boy Andy Milonakis, is there as one half of a free-styling, foul-mouthed busboy duo.

I will say the group, despite a few clunkers here and there, gives a somewhat strong performance. Even quiet and meek trainee, Mitch (Daley), has a great moment late in the film.

Waiting… doesn’t have a bad message. It’s prevalent even with all the utter filth and vulgarity. There just is not much else aside from the filth and vulgarity, and the flick is nothing but an endless factory of one dirty gag after another. I sense that the story writer-director McKittrick is telling is a personal one—along with the feeling of indecision young people might have in their late teens and early twenties—that they might not be ready to move on or grow up, or not sure what they want or can do.

The main feeling one should attain after witnessing the kitchen and restaurant hi-jinks of Waiting… is probably that of inspiration to get your groceries at the local Central Market instead of eating out.

—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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