By Shawn McKenzie 10/08/2005
All of the other critics are going to hate this movie (and a few of them have already told me this), but I liked Waiting (technically it’s called Waiting…, but I didn’t want to keep calling it that with the three periods at the end.) Sure, it was raunchy…but the hilarious performances from many of the members of the cast made the gross-out jokes worth it.
Dean (Justin Long) has been a good employee working at a chain restaurant called ShenaniganZ for four years. He is also a graduate of a community college. He has no idea where his life is going, especially after his mother (Monica Monica) tells him that a former classmate of his named Chett Miller (Travis Resor) has gotten a lucrative job as an electrical engineer. His coworker and friend Monty (Ryan Reynolds) couldn’t care less about anyone’s opinion, including that of his mother (Wendie Malick.) On this particular day, their boss, Dan (David Koechner), who is constantly asking tow truck driver Rocco (Wayne Ferrara) to haul away illegally parked cars out of the restaurant’s parking lot, asks Monty to show brand new trainee Mitch (John Francis Daley) the aspects of the job. He then asks Dean in private if he would like to take the assistant manager position (everyone already knows about the offer though.) Dean isn’t sure if he wants to take the position, because he honestly couldn’t see himself being like the pathetic Dan, even though it is a position that antagonistic longtime waitress Naomi (Alanna Ubach) has wanted for years. The movie takes place mostly over the course of one evening at ShenaniganZ, and at the beginning of it, Monty starts his training session with Mitch by telling him about “The Game.” The game consists of getting any of the male employees to look at your private parts without intentionally pulling your pants down and showing them. If they do, you get to kick them in the butt (why this game is considered fun is beyond me.) Monty also flirts with hostess Natasha (Vanessa Lengies), who will be 18 in a week (Dan also shamelessly flirts with her too), and teases lesbian bartender Tyla (Emmanuelle Chriqui), his former girlfriend Serena (Anna Faris), who also works there, and friend/co-worker Amy (Kaitlin Doubleday), who’s now sleeping with Dean but doesn’t know if she wants a relationship with him. There are many other colorful employees working at ShenaniganZ. Busboys T-Dog (Max Kasch) and Nick (Andy Milonakis) think that they’re gangsta rappers, even though they are white. They also like to hang out in the freezer doing whippets. Dishwasher Bishop (Chi McBride) is the other employees’ Zen counselor. Calvin (Patrick Benedict) is a virgin who has been trying to hook up with a girl named Kristi, and he has been having a problem urinating in a public restroom because of a traumatic experience one time. Head cook Raddimus (Luis Guzmán) participates in the game while also having sex with his girlfriend Danielle (Jordan Ladd) on his breaks. Sous-chef Floyd (Dane Cook) is a loud pierced cook who can’t wait to quit this job. During the evening, the servers deal with various customers, like a redneck (JD Evermoore) who wants Dan to give him free stuff for not being treated properly, and a rude woman (Melissa Morgan) who has the cooks bring back her order to do it right (this is the gross scene shown in the trailers.) At the end of the day, Dean needs to decide whether he wants to take the job that he was offered, which might mean working there far longer than he had ever intended.
Rob McKittrick wrote and directed this movie, his first film. According to him, it was inspired by his experiences working at similar chain restaurants, like TGI Friday’s or Bennigan’s. While I’ve never worked with food ever in my life, my brother has been doing it for years. I talked to him about the outrageous things that went on in the movie, and he said that some of it is true, like counting down the clock before closing time, but that most of it isn’t true, like doing disgusting things to a rude customer’s plate. I live by the Golden Rule anyway, so I try to be nice to everyone. It’s just a bonus that I’m pretty sure that they won’t hock a loogie in my mashed potatoes.
Being a TV critic as well as a movie critic, I was glad to see a huge ton of familiar TV faces. The two male leads, Reynolds and Long, first made their names on ABC’s “Two Guys and a Girl” and NBC’s “Ed,” respectively. Reynolds essentially plays the same character he did in 2002’s National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, but it’s still funny. Long finally played a character in a comedy that didn’t remind me of Warren Cheswick. Guzmán is mostly known as a supporting character in movies, but he had his own self-titled FOX show in 2003, which was awful. I didn’t like him here, only because his particular disgusting antics weren’t very funny. McBride is an actor I love, because he can do great comedy and drama. I think that it is a crime that he never was nominated for an Emmy for FOX’s “Boston Public.” I found his accent odd, but original here. Daley’s part reminded me of his character on NBC’s “Freaks and Geeks” at first, but it got more interesting as the movie went on. Benedict can currently be seen on CBS’s alien invasion show “Threshold,” but his character here wasn’t the most interesting. Lengies is in danger of being typecast as the “bad girl,” because she was one on NBC’s “American Dreams” and in the awful Hilary Duff movie The Perfect Man. I hated Milonakis’s MTV show, and he is a little annoying here, but he is actually a surprisingly decent rapper (he and Kasch do an original rap over the closing credits.) Cook has never had his own TV show, but he is a staple on Comedy Central. His humor is hit-or-miss, and in this movie, he was just okay. I don’t need to go into all of the other actors here that didn’t come from TV, but I will say that Faris looks so much better here than she did in the Scary Movie series.
I guess I’m just a sucker for a good gross-out movie. While Waiting may not be completely accurate, it is very humorous, and it will make me think twice about how I treat the waiters that serve me.
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