Waiting... (2005)

Waiting... (2005)

2005 R 94 Minutes

Comedy

Employees at a Bennigan's-like restaurant (called, creatively enough, Shenanigan's), kill time before their real lives get started. But while they wait, they'll have to deal with picky customers wh...

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • Growing up as a Gen X'er, our cinematic comedic heroes were average Joes and Jills who found a way to overcome and succeed when a serious crisis appeared. Movies like Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Police Academy (1984) or Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) all put ordinary people into extraordinary situations and they all found enough tenacity down deep to somehow succeed. These communicated a message of hope that everyone could achieve if they just tried hard enough. However, Millennial movies of the same caliber don't seem to consider this an important facet of their make-up.

    The movie that most people point out for being comedic gold would be Clerks (1994). However, instead of the characters overcoming adversity, these mundane people, performing mundane tasks and mailing in their performance while doing them, are celebrated because they mouth off to customers or flip them the figurative bird behind their backs whenever possible. Be that as it may, it perfectly sums up a generation that turned passive aggressiveness into an artform. Nevertheless, unless you worked retail, which seemed to be the largest connector to the intended audience, there really wasn't much there besides long-winded diatribes as the simple people waxed philosophic all the while blowing off their responsibilities to have some "me time."

    A decade later, here comes Waiting... to follow almost the same formula. Instead of a Convenience Store or a Movie Rental Shop, we are focused on an average chain diner like Applebee's or Bennigan's (man, they had a great beers of the world menu) and once again we have mundane people, performing mundane tasks all while mailing in their performance as they flip off the customers without ever being confrontational (all except for one occasion). The difference here is in how the mishandling of food items, along with the addition of extra ingredients, is the main way that these employees strike a blow for justice and stand up for themselves. Nevertheless, that wasn't the only negative to turn my stomach.

    Constantly throughout the film, pedophilia and statutory rape are celebrated as time and time again multiple adults circle under-18 teenage girls, both customers and employees, like vultures just waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Weren't Millennials supposed to be the enlightened ones? Of course, my generation also had films with their pedophilic subtext - Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Grease (1979) - but we also had to suffer through two decades of lectures because of it. Unfortunately, twenty years later Hollywood still was going back to the same old well and still hadn't learned, even though they were the ones lecturing all of us, how we needed to become better people and turn away from the culture of rape.

    But that wasn't the only big crime turned into entertainment that the film elevates on a pedestal. We are also treated to "The Game" where the restaurant staff are turned into sex offenders as they flash their junk at every possible turn (of course not on screen because that would offend the censors - well, at least none of the male genitalia makes an appearance) to score street cred and get the opportunity to physically assault their victims by literally kicking them in the ass as punishment. If only the Three Stooges had thought of this, their careers would have been so much more successful.

    The only real positive that I could gather from the film was the performance of Chi McBride as he portrayed a Dish-Washing Buddha who only looked to help shepherd his fellow employees along the path of life and find the answers to their problems. Ryan Reynolds, David Koechner and Luis Guzman turn the creep factor up to 11 as they pant and droll over very young girls - in some cases half their age - and most of the female leads are either guttural and foul-mouthed beasts or meek mice looking to be taken advantage of. In neither case, could you consider any of their performances to be idyllic or a role model for others to follow.

    All in all, I found very little to be exemplary about in this "so called" modern classic. Unless you are a pre-teen boy who gets off on dick jokes, a person who celebrates passive aggressiveness or someone who worked in the restaurant industry and hated every minute of it, I doubt you'll find much enjoyment in this piece. The only real lessons you can learn is to either never eat out or never piss off the people who handle your food. Besides that, leave this mess sitting under the heat lamps and stay home for dinner.