WAITING Image

WAITING

By Merle Bertrand | July 24, 2002

We’ve all heard the horror stories about life in a restaurant kitchen. Unfortunately for professional waiter Sean McNutt (Will Keenan), he lives these horror stories each and every day of his rut-stuck life. Crabby condescending customers, tightwad tippers, pilfering busboys; you name the cliche, Sean’s seen it and nothing fazes him anymore. Intelligent but seriously lacking in the ambition department, Sean grinds the wheat with an overly caricaturish wait and kitchen staff at Broccoletti’s Italian Bistro by day, then drinks the mobster owner dry with them by night. Only his ex-girlfriend Andrea, for whom he still holds a flaming torch, seems to shake him out of his doldrums…but her smarmy new boyfriend blocks Sean’s path at every turn. Not even home is a refuge, as his nagging parents have laid down a thirty day ultimatum to move out. What’s a jaded slacker to do? Nothing. He lets everything come to him then reacts, which is why this film by Patrick Hasson is about as exciting as meatloaf. “Waiting” is far too over the top for its own good; a Savage Steve Holland film without that genius’ comic flair. You know the film may have some casting issues when the supporting characters are so outrageously overblown that cameo bits by former adult star Ron Jeremy and Troma chief Lloyd Kaufman don’t even stand out. Keenan, on the other hand, does a solid job as Sean, a blase wisecracker whose street smarts make him a natural leader. Beyond that, however, this film idly juggles its drink tray in much the same way as its main character juggles life. Judging by the jargon and the litany of waiter abuses chronicled here, either Hasson or someone he knows very well was once (or still is?) a waiter for way too long. As this film was the No Dance Year Three Audience Award winner, one can only assume that there were a lot of other frustrated waiters in the No Dance crowd. I hope “Waiting” helped Hasson — and them — work through the demons of waitering…and here’s hoping he never gets a job at the meat grinder’s.

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