By Morgan Miller | March 4, 2001

“We adhered to most of the ‘Dogma ’95’ rules,” says Gerry Ringwald of his mockumentery “Waiting For Wood”. Since a lot of the film is shot with a tripod, uses voice-over, onscreen captions, a music track, and what seems to be artificial lighting at times, I’m really wondering what Dogma ’95 Ringwald is referring to.
“Waiting For Wood” is yet another “This is Spinal Tap” imitation. Rather than Rock stars, this one is about the San Fernando Hardcore Porn Industry. Using an investigative documentary frame, the story centers on a Reporter named Eve Somers and her look at a company known as P.E.N.I.S. From there, it follows the ups and downs of a large tangled ensemble cast, a la Paul Thomas Anderson. The epicenter, however, seems to be a young, naïve couple from Tampa, who move out west in order to become Porn stars, and charts their experiences.
For a film about pornography, it’s remarkably clean: there’s no nudity. Nor is it ever realistic or believable. The film itself feels timid, as if it’s afraid to challenge itself. There’s Too Much Dialogue — way more than these amateur actors can handle, and its all pure drivel. A barrage of bland jokes about breast implants, but no skin, no action, and no point, just endless exposition. What’s worse is the awkward delivery of the inexperienced actors we’re forced to look at. As “Waiting For Wood” tries so desperately to be funny, it just winds up becoming rather boring and pretentious.
Well, it sure ain’t Samuel Becket. “Waiting For Wood” has far too many influences for its own good and it really destroys any chances it might have had to be creative. At no level did I feel as if I was watching something that is even remotely sincere or self-expressionistic. As a viewer, you just sit there forced to think about the movies that everything is stolen from. Perhaps it’s an attempt at being Post-Modern, but it never seems to pay off. One guy’s porn name is “Harry Cannon.” What’s this? An homage to
“Heavy Metal”?

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