Some movies are tough to review, and Rob McKittrick’s debut feature, Waiting, is one of them. On one hand, it would be quite easy to pan this movie. In the conventional sense, it is nowhere near good. However, if people go into this expecting a few lowbrow belly laughs in the vein of Porkys or Animal House, they may even be pleasantly surprised.
More or less an outright homage to Kevin Smith’s hallmark 90s slacker film Clerks, Waiting details the exploits of best friends Dean (Justin Long) and Monty (Ryan Reynolds) during one work day at Shenanigans, the restaurant/bar which employs the both of them, as well as a whole host of other colorful characters.
It is important to know that this movie will not make you think or stimulate your intelligence in any way, shape or form. Dean is addressing some issues about the direction his life is taking and whether or not he wants to get locked into a menial job at such a young age. That is always quickly abandoned in favor of another gag involving Reynolds’ character and statutory rape, or a man showing another man his testicles.
Admittedly, that sounds sort of lame, but the material is elevated by an above-average cast of truly funny actors, led by Ryan Reynolds. After a brief detour into horror films, Reynolds is back what he does best, which is make dry, sarcastic wisecracks for 90 minutes. Reynolds is the only one who downplays the humor in this movie and it works wonders. He is a wonderful counterpoint to all the absurdity going on around him in the restaurant during the course of the day. There are many other funny performances to be found, including character actors Luis Guzman and Chi McBride. For fans of Anchorman, David Koechner (Champ from Anchorman) plays the restaurant’s manager. Comedy’s current golden boy Dane Cook and the star of the current worst show on television, Andy Milonakis, also make appearances as a cook and busboy, respectively. Reynolds, however, is the real standout, and his performance in this movie makes you sincerely hope that he will learn from Vince Vaughn’s mistakes and remain in the realm of comedy where he belongs.
The most important thing to take from this review is this movie is not high art in any way, shape or form. Rob Mckittrick’s movie is to restaurants what Clerks was to convenience stores: a love letter to an underappreciated working-class establishment that tries to give people a few laughs along the way. This is the third unabashedly hilarious movie of the year following 40 Year Old Virgin and Wedding Crashers, and there are definitely worse ways to spend a Friday night at the movies.
Chuck DelRoss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.