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By Merle Bertrand | July 26, 2003

Of all the annoying jobs I’ve had throughout my life, one I’ve (fortunately) always managed to avoid, at least so far, is that of a delivery driver. There are subsets within this specific realm of the employment world, the most heinous of these by far being a food delivery driver. “Drivers Wanted,” an unusual near-miss comedy from director T. Lee Beideck, turns a decidedly jaded, caustically amusing eye on perhaps the most ubiquitous example of a food delivery driver, which is to say, the pizza driver.
There’s really not much of a plot to speak of per se in “Drivers Wanted.” Instead, Beideck strings together a series of driver horror stories — prank orders, snarling dogs, rude customers, cheap tippers and the like — and inflicts these misadventures on a cast of misfits, underachievers, and — gulp! — an eight year veteran driver.
There are some standout moments scattered throughout here like green peppers on a Veggie Special. Davis Sirk is excellent as Sheldon, the aforementioned eight-years-going-on-life driver/philosopher who’s achieved an apparent Zen-like harmony with his profession. Picture a pizza driver version of Cliff Claven from “Cheers” and you sorta get the idea. Brian Osborne also turns in at times hysterical performance as the ludicrously misnomered Friendly, a lanky geek with anger management issues and a terminal case of road rage.
On the production side, Beideck cleverly throws in some brief claymation segues to spice things up a bit. Similarly, several bits from his strongly satirical mock training tape are good for a chuckle or two.
Sadly, these effective moments are simply drowned out by too much tedious material in between; stuff that isn’t nearly as humorous to a dispassionate viewer as it probably is to all those who’ve lived these experiences. Even given the fact that it’s difficult to be funny when one couches one’s humor in as much angst and biting sarcasm, as does Beideck here, this could have still made for a kick-a*s short film.
Instead, “Drivers Wanted” simply goes on way too long, the good parts diluted by marginal material the same way anchovies’ll ruin a perfectly good Meat Lover’s Special.

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