Toronto Star

More yuck than yuk, this fare is foul indeed

- PETER HOWELL MOVIE CRITIC

Waiting . . . O Starring Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris, Justin Long, David Koechner, Alanna Ubach, Luis Guzmán and Chi McBride. Written and directed by Rob McKittrick. 93 minutes. At major theatres. 14A In the spirit of Jonathan Swift, I have a modest proposal regarding Waiting . . ., the restaurant “ comedy” that has slithered to the top of my list of the worst films of 2005.

I humbly suggest that restaurant owners everywhere pool resources to beg, buy or steal every available print of this movie, thereupon to torch them all in a giant bonfire. Perhaps they could turn the occasion into a free barbecue, on the proviso that the food servers are truly caring and competent.

It would be a darn sight more entertaini­ng that having to sit through this puerile excuse for humour, perfectly described by one of the characters, in a rare moment of insight, as “ an exercise in retarded homophobic futility.” A cleansing conflagrat­ion might also save the entire dining industry, not to put too fine a point on it. Because it’s entirely possible that anyone seeing this movie — and its many foul indignitie­s to both food and customers — might swear off public eateries for good.

There is a slight risk that people will actually go to see this, because it boasts such an impressive list of C-list actors. There’s Ryan Reynolds of Van Wilder infamy, still showboatin­g to play the Otter role in an eventual Animal House remake. There’s Anna Faris, who has been in all three editions of Scary Movie, the gross- out franchise that Waiting . . . wants to be, but never will be.

There’s also David Koechner, the “ Whammy!” guy from Anchorman. Justin Long from Dodgeball. Luis Guzmán from Traffic. Chi McBride from I, Robot and TV’s Boston Public. Alanna Ubach from Meet the Fockers. And so on. Each and every one of them vainly attempting to wring laughs out of the infantile script by rookie writer/ director Rob McKittrick, who could make your average 12- year- old boy seem like a giant of emotional maturity.

Set in a very long afternoon and evening shift at a fictional restaurant called Shenanigan­z, Waiting . . .

consists of an interminab­le series of psychotic attacks by waiters and waitresses against their customers and each other. Led by the smarmy Monty ( Reynolds), who considers himself too superior to wait tables but does so anyway, they live for the moments when they can vent their impotent anger. Anyone who crosses them is liable to receive a plate soiled by all manner of bodily fluids and functions, which McKittrick shows us in nauseating detail.

In the moments when they aren’t committing vile acts against customers, the male wait staff play what they call “ the penis game,” the object of which is to flaunt your naked manhood in ways too ugly to describe. This game continues throughout the movie, giving whole new meaning to the adage about beating a dead horse.

Females need not feel left out. Ubach’s angry Naomi lifts her skirt to demonstrat­e just how crude girls can be. Anna Faris’ bitchy Serena unleashes sexual taunts against Monty that could emasculate King Kong. The weak attempts to insert a real story into Waiting . . ., such as whether Long’s timid Dean should accept a soul- destroying promotion, are submerged by a flood of filth. How did this make it past the film censors, let alone into public theatres?

It’s the kind of movie that makes you want to have a shower afterward. One thing you won’t feel like doing is going out for a meal, possibly ever again.

 ??  ?? Ryan Reynolds, centre, and Justin Long are among the C-list unworthies starring in Waiting . . ., an unpalatabl­e movie about employees of a fast food restaurant behaving badly.
Ryan Reynolds, centre, and Justin Long are among the C-list unworthies starring in Waiting . . ., an unpalatabl­e movie about employees of a fast food restaurant behaving badly.

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