It’s Saturday night and Groove is on. An all-night underground rave
where kids converge at an abandoned San Francisco warehouse this is
where they let it all loose where anything can happen. Berkeley student
Colin plans to propose to girlfriend Harmony at Groove and asks
reluctant roomie David to join them. Once there the scene intimidates
David but after he takes ecstasy with his pals hey the kids are all
A collection of unknowns one step above film school friends comprise the
cast of this ultra-low budget production with the exception of a
woefully underused Rachel True (from "The Craft " the only recognizable
face). There is no thorough intro to this large collection of
characters thus little empathy for them. Still Hamish Linklater
(David) gives a nice performance as the identifiable amateur and Lola
Glaudini (as raver Leyla) shows true charisma and comfort in front of
Though he starts off on shaky ground first-time helmer Greg Harrison
does an excellent job capturing the energy and vibe of the underground
rave scene. The plot on the other hand is as memorable as your average
techno/trance single. What’s important here is the vibe and
Harrison delivers it with minimal conflict (given that your local
theater has great speakers) showing all aspects of the scene from the
top secret warehouse location and orgiastic "chill room" to the
adrenaline rush of the dance floor and the superstar DJ’s point of view
(building the perfect mix).
Pity Mitch (John Francis Daley). It's his first day on the job at Shenanigans--a take on the nationwide-chain Bennigan's. The waiter who trains him Monty (Ryan Reynolds) is the same one he looks down on him. Monty shows Mitch the ropes as well as the cooks' genitalia. Sorry there's no other way to put it. See there's this game that the male employees play whereby...let's just say it's one of many unspeakable "games" they play that'll make you watch the film as you would a horror movie: your hands covering your eyes with just enough space between two fingers to catch a glimpse. And these are just Mitch's first moments on the job. Over the course of his shift he'll meet a twenty-something named Dean (Justin Long) who's trying to go straight--that is do something else with his life; a pushover (Patrick Benedict) whose timidity carries over to the urinal; and a veteran waitress (Alanna Ubach) who barks profane tirades about her patrons but not to them. People knock the MPAA's sense of humor but if they truly didn't have one this gross-out flick would be slapped with an NC-17 rating.
A film set in a restaurant falls squarely on the shoulders of its actors. Thankfully Reynolds and company make good carrying the film and its script of top-that one-liners and well shenanigans. Reynolds while now a bankable star in avenues other than comedy clearly has a knack for this stuff. His comedic timing and delivery are truly first-rate never more so than in Waiting excelling in the sheer vulgarity he has to shell out. Dodgeball's Long as Dean is downright earnest next to his buddy Monty but it's his role to defer to Reynolds' eloquent sarcasm. Of course this doesn't totally preclude him from joining in on the fun. He's just forced to take more barbs than he can dish out. Anna Faris (from the Scary Movie series) flies even more under the radar as Monty's ex the only one that stands in his way of proclaiming his prowess second to none. Also making pitch-perfect appearances as malevolent employees are fringe-sters Luis Guzman Chi McBride Dane Cook and Andy Milonakis with Anchorman's David Koechner as the manager.
Waiting is not the type of movie in which a separate director and writer is required--it's a package deal. That's because--and let's be honest here--a film set almost entirely in one location without a single stunt person or special effect doesn't need more than one voice. To this effect writer/director Rob McKittrick makes his first foray into each arena. Needless to say his directorial debut is almost a non-entity but that's more complementary than detrimental on a project like this. His stinging commentary on the other hand displays a comedic deftness that is worth keeping an eye on in the future especially if Waiting does any business at the box office.