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Rob McKittrick
Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, Justin Long
Writing Credits:
Rob McKittrick

Young employees at ShenaniganZ restaurant collectively stave off boredom and adulthood with their antics.

Box Office:
$3 million.
Opening Weekend:
$6,021,106 on 1652 screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated Unrated.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English PCM 7.1
English Dolby 5.1 EX
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 7/16/2007

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Rob McKittrick, Co-Producer Dean Shull and Actors Vanessa Lengies, John Francis Daley, Andy Milonakis, Rob Benedict and Anna Faris
• Expanded Telestrator Commentary with Writer/Director Rob McKittrick and Producer Jeff Balis
• Director Introduction
• “The Works” Documentary
• “That Little Extra” Documentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes
• Alternate Takes
• “Going to the Movies” Featurette
• Trailer
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Waiting... [Blu-Ray] (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 16, 2023)

Since I spent 10 years as a restaurant employee before I began my “real career” after grad school, 2005’s comedy Waiting… should be right up my alley. No, I never worked at a mid-scale chain like the Applebee’s/Ruby Tuesday/Bennigan’s/Friday’s wannabe shown here, but restaurant work is universal.

There’s not a lot of difference between an obnoxious customer at one level and another. As such, this flick seemed like a potential winner that unfortunately never remotely fulfills its potential.

Waiting… focuses mostly on the early-life crisis that affects Shenaniganz waiter Dean (Justin Long). The 22-year-old gets pressure from his mother to attend a four-year college, and she also badgers him with comparisons to former high school classmate Chett (Travis Resor), a recent grad who nets a lucrative job.

Dean faces a crossroads when Shenaniganz manager Dan (David Koechner) offers him the job as assistant manager, as he worries that this move up would cause complacency and doom him to a restaurant life forever.

Others involved in the movie include fellow servers like Dean’s semi-girlfriend Amy (Kaitlin Doubleday), wise-guy Monty (Ryan Reynolds), his ex-girlfriend Serena (Anna Faris), wimpy Calvin (Robert Patrick Benedict) and angry Naomi (Alanna Ubach).

There’s also cook Raddimus (Luis Guzman) and his sexy bartender girlfriend Danielle (Jordan Ladd), lesbian bartender Tyla (Emmanuelle Chriqui), philosophical dishwasher Bishop (Chi McBride), sexy underage hostess Natasha (Vanessa Lengies), gangsta wannabe busboys Nick (Andy Milonakis) and T-Dog (Max Kasch), and waiter trainee Mitch (John Francis Daley).

Outside of the themes related to Dean’s dilemma, don’t expect much story here. The overriding obsession relates to a restaurant game in which male employees try to get others to look at their genitals.

We also learn of Monty’s fascination with underage girls and watch his attempts to score with Natasha before she hits her upcoming 18th birthday. Otherwise, the movie mainly focuses on the shenanigans during one evening at Shenaniganz.

Waiting… clearly aspires to be the sort of comedy made 25 years earlier, as it looks and feels a lot like ensemble pieces such as Caddyshack or Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

The film takes on a very self-consciously early 1980s vibe. Indeed, the style ensures that it often could literally pass for an older effort, and it also embraces the mix of broad comedy and coming of age drama seen in the earlier movies.

Unfortunately, it lacks either the depth of Fast Times or the occasional comedic brilliance of Caddyshack. Though many regard the latter as a classic, I think it falters due to the Noonan elements.

Caddyshack works when it concentrates on the abundance of comedic talent it possesses, but it drags when it focuses on the lesser lights.

In regard to its storytelling, Waiting… compares more closely to Caddyshack. Neither offers a concise plot, as both prefer to jump from one situation to another without much cohesion.

Caddyshack made this work because its cast included comic geniuses like Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield. Waiting… includes plenty of talent but no one with those chops to carry the movie.

That makes cast comparisons between Waiting… and Fast Times more apt. Though its cast may not achieve the heights experienced by the stunning roster of Fast Times, we do find some more than capable actors here, and I can’t fault the ensemble for the flick’s weaknesses.

Reynolds eventually semi-perfected his brand of smarmy smart-aleck, but as of Waiting…, his shtick didn’t work. Still, I like folks like Long and some of the others, and we also find more established talents like Guzman and McBride. Too bad they can’t overcome the movie’s many flaws.

The film doesn’t know what to do with all those characters, as it reduces the parts to goofy sight gags at best, and ignores them at worst. The women receive the short end of the stick. Outside of Ubach – who still doesn’t receive a lot of screen time – they’re left without much to do. Faris gets some stinging lines aimed at Reynolds, but otherwise they’re essentially eye candy and little more.

One main problem comes from the flick’s tone. One minute it’ll embrace the broadest, most disgusting humor imaginable, while in the next, it’ll attempt a form of realism. The two sides don’t fit and they give the movie an awfully unbalanced feel.

Waiting… had potential because there’s just so many damned funny incidents that come with the job. The filmmakers didn’t need to go over the top and embellish these, as they’d work just fine on their own.

The flick’s best bits come from the few that actually connect with the real world. Those moments of verisimilitude entertained me because I could relate to them.

It’s like the old saying goes: it’s funny because it’s true. Waiting… needs more slices of life and fewer shots of guys manipulating their balls to startle co-workers.

Really, couldn’t they think of a better running gag than that whole dick exposure thing? It wasn’t funny from the start, and it sure didn’t improve with age.

The only over the top parts of the movie that work come from Ubach’s hilariously nasty turn as riot grrl Naomi. It’s a hoot when we see her go from shrieking and hateful to smiling and pleasant for the paying customers.

Too bad the rest of Waiting… failed to display that level of inspiration. Usually content to cater to the lowest common denominator, the film blows its chance to have fun with the restaurant profession.

It sticks with gross out gags and little else. With its incoherent storytelling and thin characters, the movie wastes a good cast and a fun premise.

Note that this disc covers the “Unrated and Raw” edition of Waiting…. According to a representative for writer/director Rob McKittrick, here’s how the two versions differ:

“As far as the unrated cut goes, the ‘unrated’ portions mostly concern the ball and bush shots near the end of the movie that had to be changed for the MPAA. For the bush shot, the camera is slightly closer than it was theatrically.

“For the ball shot in the theatrical, they were just hanging out of the boxers; this take is used during ‘The Works’ at the beginning of the Luis Guzman casting section. Another unrated change is that the rap video during the credits is uncensored, while the theatrical had words bleeped very arbitrarily.

“The other changes concern things that made Rob cringe in the theatrical, so he changed them for the unrated. One is an additional bit with the redneck couple where he gives Dean a bit more attitude during the meal and the deletion of the very beginning of the Dean/Amy resolution scene near the end of the film. (Rob felt the line that began the scene didn't make any sense, so he cut it for the unrated). Ultimately, with things being added and taken out, the unrated cut only runs 9 seconds longer than the theatrical.”

The Disc Grades: Picture D+/ Audio C+/ Bonus A-

Waiting… appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. What a mess of a presentation!

The biggest culprit came from the excessive use of noise reduction. This stripped away any shot at fine detail and made the image look oddly smooth and plastic.

Sharpness seemed passable in closeups but that was about it. Anything wider looked soft and bland.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, but I saw moderate edge haloes. No print flaws interfered, at least.

Colors seemed less than vibrant, but they felt reasonably well-reproduced. The movie opted for a fairly natural palette, albeit one that leaned a little blue. The hues didn’t excel but they worked better than most of the rest of the image.

Blacks felt inky and crushed, while shadows were off because the image seemed a little too bright. The main issue remained the awful overuse of noise reduction, though, as that made this a problematic image.

The Uncompressed PCM 7.1 soundtrack of Waiting… also wasn’t anything special, though it worked fine for this sort of movie. Music dominated the film, as it presented a never-ceasing assortment of pop/rock tunes.

These showed good stereo imaging, and the flick also boasted pretty decent delineation of effects. Not surprisingly, these stayed with general restaurant atmosphere.

The forward speakers heavily dominated, though the surrounds occasionally a bit of atmosphere as well. The soundfield stayed modest, and that was fine.

For the most part, audio quality seemed good. I thought speech was less than stellar, however, as the lines often sounded somewhat distant and wooden. No problems with intelligibility or edginess occurred, however, so I didn’t have any major complaints.

Music appeared pretty lively and dynamic, and decent bass response came along with those tracks. The effects did absolutely nothing to tax the track, but they were clean and accurate. This was a perfectly adequate soundtrack for a comedy.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio offered a bit more range, but both mixes came with similarly restricted soundfields.

As for visuals, the Blu-ray felt a bit more appealing than the mediocre DVD, mainly due to the format’s abilities. Contrast worked better here, as the DVD seemed way too bright. However, I couldn’t view this as an actual upgrade due to the many problems found on the BD.

A slew of extras – some from the DVD, some exclusive to the BD - appear on the disc, and we find an audio commentary recorded explicitly for the Blu-ray. It features writer/director Rob McKittrick, co-producer Dean Shull, and actors Vanessa Lengies, John Francis Daley, Andy Milonakis, Rob Benedict and Anna Faris.

All sit together for this running, screen-specific look at characters and performances as well as experiences during the shoot. Which sounds good but in reality, the track offers little of interest.

While we get the occasional nugget of insight, most of the commentary mixes the participants as the laugh at the movie or they joke with each other. In particular, Milonakis tosses out his stabs at humor a lot of the time.

How did this man enjoy a successful career as a comedian? His shtick appeared to revolve around the fact he looked/sounded like an adolescent despite the fact he was almost 30 during the movie’s shoot.

Milonakis shows no cleverness in his “humor”. He just throws out crass remarks, most of which are either homophobic or misogynistic.

Oh man, do we get a lot of both here! Of course, the movie itself is relentlessly homophobic, so this comes as no surprise.

But I didn’t expect the commentary to follow that path, and the inane nature of Milonakis’s “jokes” adds insult to injury. For instance, when someone refers to the Blu-ray, Milonakis responds with this gem: “more like Blu-gay!”

Milonakis’s material is so relentlessly moronic that I wondered if he offers “performance art” – ie, he make intentionally stupid remarks to make fun of that style of humor. And maybe that’s the case, but I don’t get the impression of that kind of nuance, as his wisecracks just become dopey and offensive.

No one else compensates for Milonakis. This leads to a tedious and obnoxious commentary.

Also found on the DVD, we get an Expanded Telestrator Commentary with McKittrick and producer Jeff Balis. They sit together for a running, screen-specific chat.

Actually, it’s too damned screen-specific, largely due to the telestrator gimmick. I don’t like visual commentaries in general because they add almost nothing to the experience.

Telestrator commentaries are worse because they turn into a distraction. The participants worry more about scribbling onscreen than about giving us good notes, and that becomes a nuisance here.

Note that they also pause and even rewind the film at times. This means that the commentary runs longer than the movie’s 94 minutes. The commentary ultimately fills 2:10:24, so expect a lot of times when they pause the movie’s action.

The quality of the material they provide doesn’t do much to redeem the track. We hear about how McKittrick’s experiences influenced the movie, the cast and performances, sets, and various behind the scenes tidbits.

Much of the time the guys do little more than tell us what parts of the movie they love, and since the answer is pretty much all of it, that gets old.

Occasionally we find nice tidbits, especially when we learn the inspirations for various gags. I also like the long discussion of nudity in the film and its portrayal of the female nether regions.

I will admit the commentary improves as it progresses. McKittrick and Balis eventually adapt to the format and they start to offer greater insights. They also bicker a lot, and that adds some amusement.

Still, it’s not a terribly good track overall. Despite some good moments, too much of the commentary seems tedious and not very informative.

Also new to the Blu-ray, an Introducton from Rob McKittrick goes for two minutes, 23 seconds. He gives us an overview of changes made for this release. He doesn’t tell us much but he offers some amusement.

We get a collection of 13 Deleted Scenes/Alternate Takes. These fill a total of seven minutes, eight seconds. I’m sure you can do the math and figure out that none of them last very long.

The most significant one shows the other waiters as they tell Dean it’s okay for him to take the management job. Otherwise, we find small gags and tidbits that fail to add much.

19 Outtakes run a total of 14 minutes, 57 seconds. This domain offers exactly what the title describes, as we see lots of raw and unused footage. It’s fun for fans of the movie who want to check out different versions of the bits.

A program called That Little Extra goes for 19 minutes, four seconds. We hear from director Rob McKittrick, co-producer Dean Shull, producer Jeff Balis, production designer Devorah Herbert, and actors Anna Faris, Ryan Reynolds, Alanna Ubach, Andy Milonakis, Dane Cook, Vanessa Lengies, Luis Guzman, David Koechner, Justin Long, John Francis Daley, Kaitlin Doubleday, and Robert Patrick Benedict.

“Extra” runs through the project’s origins and development, how McKittrick landed the gig as director and all the problems faced along the path, casting, designing the restaurant, cinematography, the dick-showing game, and the cast’s impressions of McKittrick as a director.

To go with a goofy movie, we get a pretty goofy documentary. Though parts of “Extra” don’t take things particularly seriously, we do learn some nice details about the production.

It rushes through the pre-production hurdles, though; I’d have liked more background there. We also don’t get much detail about casting or the other areas. “Extra” does serve as a moderately informative and entertaining overview, though. The Works. It runs a massive one hour, 25 minutes, 25 seconds, and it also includes many branching segments. These are optional, but if you hit “enter” when an icon appears onscreen to check out additional tidbits.

We find 22 of these, and they add another one hour,, 25 seconds of footage. (Note that you can access these separately in the area of the disc called “Side Dishes”.)

“The Works” includes interviews with McKittrick, Shull, Balis, Herbert, casting director Annie McCarthy, cinematographer Matthew Irving, composer Adam Gorgoni, and actors Dane Cook, John Francis Daley, Andy Milonakis, David Koechner, Justin Long, Jordan Ladd, Max Kasch, Skyler Stone, Robert Patrick Benedict, Kaitlin Doubleday, Alanna Ubach, and Vanessa Lengies.

The show covers the origins of the story and how it made its way to the screen, casting and performances, the film’s visual style and cinematography, set design, shooting the kitchen scenes, the flick’s music and its ending rap, relationships among the castmembers and various anecdotes from the shoot, and final thoughts about the movie.

“Works” features some joking around but still gets into plenty of good information. The best parts deal with cast and characters, as it includes lots of fun notes about those areas. The actors definitely come to the forefront here, though it’s too bad folks like Ryan Reynolds and Luis Guzman don’t appear.

“Works” also develops just enough about the rest of the production to be informative. The show doesn’t offer a complete recap of the film’s creation, but it gives us a lot of enjoyable and entertaining material.

What do we find in the branching components? These mostly offer tidbits of commentary from various participants.

We get remarks from Justin Long, Matthew Irving, Devorah Herbert, Kaitlin Doubleday, Robert Patrick Benedict, Alanna Ubach, Jordan Ladd, Adam Gorgoni, Andy Milonakis, Max Kasch, John Francis Daley, Vanessa Lengies, David Koechner, Dane Cook and Skyler Stone. We also find screentests for Benedict, Ubach, Milonakis, Kasch, John Francis Daley, Stone, Lengies, David Koechner, Dane Cook and “Katelan” Doubleday.

Most of the commentaries play it straight, though Long, Milonakis, Koechner and Cook go for a comedic bent. The different tracks occasionally provide some decent details, but I can’t recall many truly informative notes. The screen tests are much more interesting, as they give us lots of interesting footage.

New to the Blu-ray, A Night At the Movies runs 13 minutes, three seconds. It features McKittrick and Milonakis.

They comment as they watch footage from the film’s premiere. This adds up to more attempted comedy and little real information, though it can be amusing at times.

The disc opens with ads for Crank, Employee of the Month, The Invincible Iron Man and Lord of War. We also get a trailer for Waiting… itself.

Note that the Blu-ray loses a featurette about the experiences of actual restaurant employees. It wasn’t special, but it still seems odd it got the boot.

Despite occasional gags that aptly recreate the experience of restaurant work, most of Waiting… focuses on cheesy toilet humor. There’s a lot of crassness and little actual inspiration. The Blu-ray offers a wealth of supplements but audio seems average and visuals look way too soft. Skip this atrocious movie.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of WAITING

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main