After the sometimes disgusting – but mostly hilarious – National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, we knew we were going to see star Ryan Reynolds again. Unfortunately, rather than immediately jumping into another zany Wilder role, he tried to broaden his acting chops by going with The In-Laws (which we have yet to see). After that, it was a fun switch-off from the norm as a vampire hunter in , then back to his comedic roots with Waiting.
When we heard Reynolds was leaping back into comedy for Waiting, we knew we were going to have to check it out. Add in that it’s the Clerks version of being a waiter, and I (as a former waiter myself), had to check it out. Would Waiting become a classic like Clerks, or would we be requesting our check long before the movie ended?
Ryan Reynolds seems to have graduated to the old-timers school of wise-cracking party boys, becoming the role model for younger versions to try to live up to. The wise-cracking routine is definitely old hat for him by now, and he looks to be trying just a bit harder to reach the plateau he obtained in Van Wilder. Still, he seems perfect for the role of mentor, letting Mitch in on all the wild and wacky happenings behind the scenes at the restaurant. The other characters are rather one-dimensional, including the main character Dean, and don’t do much to stand out. It’s Ryan Reynolds’ film once again, and thankfully he does his best not to let us down.
Waiting, like it’s predecessor Clerks, aims at showing us the lowest of the low in the chosen profession. While Waiting does showcase some of the nastiest restaurant employees around, it may give a bad rap to the good staff manning restaurants out there. Hopefully, all it will do is make their life easier by providing a lot more incentive for restaurant-goers to leave decent tips (a minimum of 15%) and stop complaining so much about their orders.
While the depths of depravity the staff in Waiting sinks to seems incredible, just remember that the writer wrote this film while working at a restaurant. How much is biographical, and how much is just his own devious mind at work? We can never be sure.
Of course, if you have ever waited tables at any of our fine eating establishments across the country, you may feel somewhat sympathetic to the staff of ‘Shenaniganz’ – even if you yourself wouldn’t be able to stoop to the depths they obtain. If you’ve never worked in this type of setting before, you have no idea the amount of patrons who lack even a shred of common decency towards those handling their food. Trust me, it’s a lot higher than you think.
So, what’s to be learned from Waiting? Like it’s predecessor Clerks, it shows the seamy side of a common profession for young adults – and will most likely shock some by it’s crudeness and it’s rudeness. After watching this film (and remembering the writer was a waiter), you may find yourself pondering a question – how mad do you want to make the people who handle your food?
Ah, but wait – that’s not the only lesson gleaned from Waiting. Sadly, we also discover that Reynolds can not carry a movie all by himself these days. Maybe some of that can be blamed on first-time director Rob McKittrick, but most of the blame seems to lie on Reynolds – and the lack of good acting from the rest of the cast.
Despite his best efforts, Reynolds just can’t make Waiting worth a second viewing all by himself.