film reel image

film reel image

Friday, December 1, 2023

Waiting... 2005 * * Stars


If you're gonna make a film about servers at some Chili's-style restaurant, you have to exaggerate the high jinks, you just have to. Otherwise everything on screen would be boring and well, unambiguous. Such is the case with 2005's Waiting..., a raunchy R-rated comedy in which waiters make whoopee in work bathrooms, do drugs on their breaks, play full-frontal nudity games with their co-workers, have mad parties after each day at work, and mess with their customer's food (ugh). I worked as a server back in the day and let me tell you none of this stuff went down, at least not on my watch. If it did I probably would've quit or been scarred for life. Just sayin'.

That's not to say that Waiting... doesn't provide a couple of guffaws because it does. I mean if you're all about the ostentatious-ness how can it not. The problem is that the flick at times is more gross than funny, trying to one-up every farcical gag as if it's a carnival act at some foodie freakshow. A cook puts the dandruff from his hair onto a patron's steak, a woman flashes her private area to her work buds and then kicks them in their rears (??), four teenagers are smoking cigs at a table while a guy in his twenties is trying to hook up with them, the fabled 10-second rule (you know what I'm talking about). This stuff, well it may seem amusing on paper but when it's shown on screen, it flutters, like some undercooked piece of veal (pun intended). "I hope you enjoyed everything, I know I did". Uh, not quite there big guy.

With Waiting..., the fictional, casual dinging restaurant (appropriately named ShenaniganZ) is the star, a sort of prop to loosely bind together the poor editing choices, lack of continuity, nowt diegesis, and un-redeeming characters that you would never associate with in real life. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, and Justin Long, Waiting... is borderline watchable but know that you'll feel peccant if you ask for "seconds". Natch.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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