Brief summary: If you have ever worked a restaurant job before, especially the night shift (after the manager leaves, which they usually did around 9 or 10pm in my experience)…. this movie is for you. Even if you haven’t, it’s STILL for you. This is hands-down the greatest comedy about working in the food service industry, period. NOTHING touches this film.
The characters and setting are absolutely flawless. They all work at “Shenaniganz” (a parody of TGI Fridays, Perkins, or Applebees) for their annoying boss “Dan” (David Koechner, in one of his best roles).
All the employees (specifically the servers) at the restaurant are of course, the focus of the film…. first, you’ve got the cocky douchebag (Ryan Reynolds as “Monty”) who gets his kicks from hot underage girls, especially the beautiful hostess “Natasha” (Vanessa Langies). Then you have Justin Long as Monty’s best friend “Dean” (also a server, and in community college), who’s at a crossroads in his life and doesn’t know if working in a restaurant is a path he wants to pursue… then, there’s the hot-tempered (and batshit crazy) “Naomi” (Alanna Ubach, who basically steals the show in every scene she’s in)…. the Buddhist/Zen philosophical dishwasher “Bishop” (Chi McBride)…… and then, we’ve got the absolute eye candy in Anna Faris & Kaitlin Doubleday… and then, Robert Patrick Benedict as “Calvin”, the resident hopeless romantic who has zero social skills when it comes to girls, and who also has a serious problem urinating in public…. and the always awesome Dane Cook, who is the main cook (ironically) at the restaurant… and Luis Guzman, another cook, who invented a hilarious game that all the co-workers take part in…. the trainee “Mitch” (John Francis Daley from Freaks & Geeks), and last but not least, you have “Nick” and “T-Dog” (Andy Milonakis & Max Kasch), the busboys who think and act like black rappers who grew up in the ghetto (even though the restaurant is located in an upper middle-class suburb, somewhere in America (likely California).
The story is just hilarious….. again, if you’ve ever worked in the food industry (and I believe most people have, especially with their first jobs, in high school)…. you MUST see this film. It’s infinitely re-watchable. But make sure you pick up the “Theatrical Version” on DVD or Blu-ray (NOT the unrated version, which isn’t as good… the unrated versions never are! Just too much extra, raunchy bullshit that takes away from the story). On cable lately, they’ve been showing Waiting…, and as is common, with movies on cable, they are the theatrical versions.
HIGHLY, highly recommended.
on a personal note: I worked at a Pizza Hut from 1992 to 1994. Out of the MANY hilarious (and disgusting) experiences I had, starting with my female boss embezzling money from my check by not accurately accounting for all the hours I worked… in a subtle way, so about $10-20 was missing from each paycheck and going to hers (she did this with all the younger employees, I found out later… she did it for so long that I eventually got a $250 retroactive payment, from her embezzlement, after she was fired)…… all the way to seeing people spit in the topping bins, and prep the crusts with dirty hands, more than ten times a week)…. I definitely can relate to this film.