Review by Derrick Carter
Running Time: 1 hour 34 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for Strong Crude and Sexual Humor, Pervasive Language and Some Drug Use
Directed by: Rob McKittrick
Written by: Rob McKittrick
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, Justin Long, Kaitlin Doubleday, Andy Milonakis, Dane Cook, Chi McBride, Luis Guzman, David Koechner, Jordan Ladd
CLERKS have had their time in the sun, as have white-collar employees (OFFICE SPACE), so what about the waiters and waitresses of America? WAITING…, a comedy that written and directed by Rob McKittrick, was actually written as he worked as a waiter. Instead of focusing on the sad true-to-life humor that comes with any customer service position, McKittrick goes into over-the-top gross-out territory that doesn’t wind up being half as funny as he thinks it is.
The staff at Shenaniganz is a diverse and colorful crew. There’s Dean, a part-time student feeling discouraged that he’s been a waiter for four years. Monty, the resident cool guy, who’s called to train newcomer, Mitch. There’s also a philosophical cook, the crass kitchen staff, the wannabe gangster bus-boys, and the uptight boss. The movie doesn’t so much have a story as it focuses on different characters through the average day in the restaurant, complete with rude idiotic customers and the stress that comes with the job. There’s also a running bit about a “game” where male members of the staff try to get each other to look at their junk. That’s the kind of drivel this amounts to.
Crude humor can be done well (look at almost every project Judd Apatow has been involved with), but WAITING… chooses to focus more on shock value than actual laughs. This is a movie that your average Jr High or High School student would find to be hilarious. However, in a world where better workplace comedies exist (OFFICE SPACE and both CLERKS movies), this amounts to little more than a film that’s trying too hard to be gross.
None of the characters are developed more than the one-dimensional stereotypes they portray. David Koechner is the best one here by far, as he plays the scumbag boss. Justin Long and Ryan Reynolds serve as the mostly main characters, but neither amount to getting the viewer to care about them in any way, shape, or form. Dane Cook is as annoying as ever, while Chi McBride (an actor who’s proved himself to have a decent set of comedic chops) isn’t given much to do here at all.
Some gross-outs are effective in making the viewers stomach a bit queasy, but that’s not the same as well-executed comedy. With the exception of about three scenes in total, there’s nothing very funny here. It’s a CLERKS rip-off set within the confines of a restaurant. That’s about it. The meager budget shows in that the production values are very cheap looking and it feels like this unfunny mess of a supposed comedy should have been sent direct-to-video.
It may be a cheap shot (of which the movie seems to take many), but the whole time I was watching WAITING… it seemed like I was waiting a lot, in the sense that I was waiting for it to be funny and when I realized this wasn’t going to happen, waiting for it to be over. Avoid this one!