There are few things more unsettling than going for condiments, and then staring at a steaming plate of cock," waiter Monty (Reynolds) warns a shy new employee. Although he's referring to the restaurant's beloved game of penis show-and-tell, he might as well have described the experience of watching this American Pie--style gross-out comedy. While disguising itself as a food-service flick, the movie's really just about the various ways to drop trou onscreen.
Waiting...focuses on the lives of the food servers at Shenanigan's, an Applebee's--inspired generic restaurant of the type found aplenty in suburban America. Inside, a stock crowd of stereotypes dishes it out: the burned-out, anger-ridden waitress; the smooth-talker whose house specialty is preying on underage girls; and the matre d' from whom everyone would like to take a bite. The misfit is Dean (Long), a Keanu Reeves look-alike who excels at imitating the professional food server's unblinking stare. Cajoled into movement by a former classmate who has just graduated from college with an engineering degree, Dean begins to wonder, Does life exist beyond the service industry?
When Dean finally creates his own genitalia-showing game, explained as a catalyst for the theme restaurant's success, audience members will experience relief, if only in anticipation of an ending. Like the organic "alfalfa sprouts" (heh heh) sprinkled onto a slab of steak for one particularly demanding customer, most of what Waiting... serves up is just in bad taste.—Youyoung Lee