The idea of a gross-out comedy is nothing new. There have been some extremely funny gross-out comedies like The 40-Year Old Virgin and The American Pie Trilogy. However, there have also been some extremely boring and stupid gross-out comedies like National Lampoon’s Van Wilder and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalow. The key to a successful gross-out comedies to is have a smart plot and jokes that actually make sense and aren’t just made for a quick laugh. While there are some funny sequences …n Waiting…, the film just lacks the overall spark and humor of a good comedy.
Basically summing up the plot of the film; Monty (Ryan Reynolds), Serena (Anna Faris), and Dean(Justin Long) star in this film about a bunch of waiters that are simply trying to show their customers how awesome the service can be at the restaurant ShenaniganZ can be. Monty’s job, it seems, is to show the new guy Mitch (John Francis Daley) around the restaurant, showing him everything from where the condiments are kept to a rather vile game that ends with the offender’s butt being kicked. (I won’t go into full detail as it seemed like Director McKittrick was trying to bring some energy into the film with a gross-out concept that falls extremely flat.)
According to the film’s trailer, if you have ever worked at a restaurant like Applebee’s, Bennighan’s, etc, you will experience a lot of the torture Waiting… plays on and appreciate all those days you wanted to do something to that rude customer. Take this first example. A customer is being a major pain to one of the waiters. What do they do? They go to the kitchen and vote as a whole. They declare the customer is being a major ‚bee-otch‘ and proceed to spit in her mashed potatoes adding that extra ‚gravy‘, put dandruff on her steak and, finally, put some hair from down there on top of her steak. This sequence comes off as mildy funny, but mostly outrageous. The customer is a completely rude, bitchy person who is acting this way just because she can as the customer (Anyone who has worked in ANY type of customer service job can appreciate what is done to her).
Having never worked at a restaurant, maybe I can’t connect with the humor. The characters just try to funny and place themselves as people who would actually work in restaurants, yet they never come off as convincing. They know their jobs are dull and vapid. While there jobs are dull and vapid, some workers there try to make the most of the time they’re working, one being Dean. He learns that a person he went to school with just graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering. This prompts him to consider if he should take the position increase he has been offered and if he should continue on with community college. Another interesting and almost always funny character is Raddimus (Luiz Guzman), especially his ‚jerk-off‘ sequences with his girl-friend. I must also mention Floyd (Dane Cook). One particular scene has the manager trying to excite his cooks with the line Seize the Day to which Floyd comments Yeah, yeah. Carpe deez nuts. God, I can’t wait to quit this job Cook is just naturally entertaining to watch, just like his comedy.
Waiting… is one of those film’s that you see the trailer and think to yourself that the film could be funny because it is taking everyday situations we may be accustom to. However, if Waiting… had just stuck to the few funny jokes and not relied mostly on gross-out humor, the film would have succeeded. Unfortunately, this film falls extremely low at points with some of the jokes. So low to the point where the film can’t redeem itself.
Waiting… is presented in Widescreen Ratio of 1:78:1 and is enhanced for 16X9 TV’s. While the image was cleaned up from its‘ theatrical run, I did notice quite a lot of grain in a majority of the scenes. Otherwise from this, the image looks fine for a low-budget film.
We’re given a few different audio tracks here. Pick from either a 5.1 or 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Track. The audio is just fine. Don’t expect too much response from the sub or the rear channels as this is a dialogue heavy film. The dialogue comes off clear and easy to understand with no real disturbances. Like the video, the audio is just fine.
This is where this film shines. Tons of extra’s here!
- Disc One
- Deleted Scenes: We are given a total of 13 Deleted Scenes that run about 7 minutes. The scenes are funny, but it is good that they were cut because they don’t do much for the plot.
- Outtakes/Alternate Scenes: We are given a total of 19 Alternate Scenes running about 15 minutes. Some of the outtakes are pretty funny like the ‘ball’ sequence, but some are pretty flat like the extension to the foreigner scene.
- That Little Extra: This 19 minutes behind-the-scenes feature is pretty enjoyable. We get a lot of goofy interviews and little chuckles. Available in either a Play All feature or separated into 8 chapters.
- Waiting…Soundtrack Preview: Here we get a look into the music featured in the film.
- The Works: All Access Interactive Video Commentary: Here we get another look at the making of the film. This is a feature-length documentary composed of 16 chapters that runs around 85 minutes. Think of this as kind of a Follow the White Rabbit feature on the Matrix DVD. While watching the film, a hot dog icon will occasionally pop up. If you hit ENTER on your remote, you’re given a in-depth look into a certain aspect of the film from thoughts on the music to the production sets. While this feature does run around 85 minutes, I tallied the amount of time you will spend if you click on all the hot dog icons. 2 hours. The company hired to produce this DVD by Lion Gates obviously wanted to try something interesting. They certaintly succeeded as this feature is a lot of fun and is extremely enjoyable.
- Expanded Telestrator Commentary: Now this is a very rare and fascinating feature. The way this feature works is that you watch the film while Director Rob McKittrick and Producer Rob Balis use a type of electric pen and freeze-frame/rewind type techonology to behave all childish and silly. While this is a very new type of feature and it gets my praise for that, there are a lot of dead scenes where they totally freeze the film and start talking about the production sets, funny scenes, etc. Stretching a 93 minute film into 130 minutes is not usually a good thing, but this feature is interesting enough to warrant a watch-through once.
- Sending It Back: The Real Dish on Waiting Tables: This is a 6 minute visit with a bunch of former servers of restaurants. Rather boring and not worth your time.
- Trailers: Here we get the trailer for Reynold’s National Lampoon’s Van Wilder and The Avenger’s cartoon set.
While I didn’t find the whole film to be non-stop hilarity, more than a few parts did have me similing. The DVD boasts ok picture and pretty good audio. I have to give kudos to Lion Gates for extremely packing this dvd with a lot of funny, rare extras that are better than the film itself. This set comes highly recommended for fans of the film. For those of you on the edge, I suggest renting the film first to see if you find the humor funny enough to allow for multiple viewings.
Special Features List
- Deleted Scenes
- Outtakes/Alternate Scenes
- That Little Extra
- Waiting…Soundtrack Preview
- The Works: All Access Interactive Video Commentary
- Expanded Telestrator Commentary
- Sending It Back: The Real Dish on Waiting Tables