"Waiting" delivered with satisfaction and a smile

Oct. 17, 2005, midnight | By Nic Lukehart | 18 years, 4 months ago

New comedy dishes up laughs

Long days, smarmy customers, the ever-present smell of grease and mediocre food are all in a day's work for the crew of the restaurant "Shenanigans" in Rob McKittrick's new comedy "Waiting." It stars Ryan Renolds, Justin Long, Anna Harris, and Dane Cook whose combined talents make this film a genre-defying blend of humor and raw human emotion.

This rollicking farce follows the characters through the trials and tribulations of restaurant labor. The audience witnesses the main protagonist Dean's (Long) attempts to break free from his monotonous and low paying job as a waiter. They laugh at the sophomoric yet clever dialogue of Dean's best friend and fellow waiter Monty (Renolds). Monty tortures the newest employee Mitch (John Francis Daley) while he shows him the ropes, and also battles with he desires to act on the cute hostess, who is still seventeen, and thus illegal.

The story flows to behind-the-scene action in the kitchen where viewers are introduced to the dishwasher and employee therapist Bishop (Chi McBride) and the lustful, comical cook Radimus (Luis Guzman). As the day draws to a close Dean reveals how he intends to break his banal lifestyle, and Monty begins to realize the errors of his ways.

This movie had the audience rolling in their soup, and after the first ten minutes it was clear the film was bound to be superb. The humor, while extremely juvenile, is original and entertaining and the lines produce fits of laughter long after the end of the film.

Although it is labeled a comedy, the selling point of the film is not crude jokes. Rather, it lies in the relationships between the characters. Each one has his or her own story, whether it be the lesbian bar tender who tries to draw women out of being heterosexual, the in-need-of-anger-counseling waitress who acts kind to the customers and screams at employees, or even the vengeful cooks that drop spit in the food of customers labeled "Biatches."

While the interaction between the characters is often comedic, the dramatic encounters are equally compelling. For instance, the argument between ex-lovers Monty and Serena (Faris), in which Monty is left with nothing to say and the idea that he is horrible in bed not only generates laughs but hooks the audience with every word.

Many movies filled with B-list actors tend to lean towards the worse side of horrible, but the cast did an exemplary job keeping the story enjoyable and comical. Dane Cook was able to cross the stand-up comic line, and despite few appearances in the film, made his presence priceless and hilarious.

"Waiting" exceeds the boundaries of a typical teen comedy and will keep you and your friends in fits of laughter, although it may make restaurant food a whole lot less appealing.

"Waiting" (96 minutes) is rated R for strong language, sexuality, and drug references.

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