Thursday, October 6, 2005

Waiting ...

Posted on Thu, Oct 6, 2005 at 4:00 AM

**1/2

Waiting ...
Studio: Artisan Entertainment, Lions Gate Releasing
Rated: R
Website: http://www.waitingthefilm.com/
Release Date: 2005-10-07
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, Anna Faris, David Koechner, Wendie Malick
Director: Rob McKittrick
Screenwriter: Rob McKittrick
WorkNameSort: Waiting ...
Our Rating: 2.50

In the closing credits of his writing/directing debut, Orlando expat Rob McKittrick (see article) flat-out admits his debt to Kevin Smith – as if the preceding 93 minutes of vulgarity and pontification on the McJob weren't clue enough. McKittrick's depiction of life at a chain restaurant is even blunter than Smith's oeuvre, and it's beset by slow stretches that strand some of the more sophomoric gags in airless multiplex space. But for a film restricted almost entirely to a single indoor location, it doesn't feel especially claustrophobic – kudos to McKittrick's nascent directing skills – and the inconsistent script is enhanced by actors like Ryan Reynolds, whose turn as a customer-baiting, skirt-chasing server revels in a demented sense of mischief (helped along by a late-arriving acknowledgment that we're supposed to find his antics as pathetic as entertaining). The movie is best when it stops trying to be outrageous and simply goes about documenting the awful universals of the food-service experience – like the hatred that employees feel toward customers who stride into a freshly mopped-down establishment at two minutes to closing time and expect to be served. What's the matter with us, anyway?

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