Still Waiting… (Blu-ray)
In 2005, a hilarious unknown comedy about the food service industry titled WAITING was released starring Ryan Reynolds, Anna Farris and Justin Long. Trying to capitalize on this little cult hit a sequel aptly titled STILL WAITING was born. Unfortunately, this second installment is predictably less exciting or clever but surprisingly gives more laughs than one would expect for a straight to video follow up.
While the film is mostly an ensemble effort the main focus lies with Dennis (performed by the very funny underrated Michael Higgins), a middle age manager of Shenanigans who still lives with his mother and can’t get a date. Dennis is striving to become a District Manager, which he will achieve if the restaurant makes roughly $9000 in one night to reach the quarterly goal. In order to motivate his employees he tells them that corporate will shut them down if they don’t reach their goal. Unfortunately there is stiff competition next door from a restaurant for obvious reasons named Ta-Ta’s, managed by the newly over self confident jerk Calvin (Rob Benedict) who has come a long way from his insecure stage fright prone character in the original.
The film opens with Dennis waking up to start his day at work by simultaneously brushing his teeth and peeing in the same sink he’s using to clean his mouth. Admittedly, this disgusting kick-start to the film had me laughing out loud while preparing me for the much more over the top gross out humor still to come. While the rest of the jokes never quite sustained the impact of originality it started with, it did manage a few nice laughs for anyone who has worked in the food industry.
Whether it be serving tables, cooking burgers or even managing any retail environment, STILL WAITING is very relatable in a heightened exaggeration mode. The film covers a wide variety of colorful characters – some funny, some not. Agnew is the crass loud mouth replacing Reynolds character from the original. Mason is the stringy cook with a funny voice who is constantly the target for pranks. Joshua is a nervous stressed out waiter who has nightmares about serving terrible customers while naked. Naomi returns as the crude drunken unfriendly hostess. And Allison is a new waitress trying to compete with the overly provocative scantily clad servers at Ta-Ta’s. Luis Guzman, David Koechner and Justin Long all return their characters for small but funny roles.
The film definitely could have benefited by focusing in on key characters and cutting others, specifically the return of Nick (Andy Milonakis) and Theo (Max Kasch) who provided no laughs and slowed the pacing. Making the customers fill the villain role would have helped the characters to be more likable and relatable, instead the leads were mostly shown incompetent and careless. If documentaries like FOOD INC. or SUPER SIZE ME didn’t scare you to eat healthy from the exposure of dangerous manufactured food, STILL WAITING will frighten you from the staff that handles these foods.
Fans of the original will enjoy this follow up but like most sequels STILL WAITING doesn’t measure up. Full of similar characters and variations of repeated or stolen jokes, the script seems forced and thrown together. However the film does manage to pull out a few laughs but nothing ground breaking. If you have to choose watch WAITING but if you need your fix of more food service humor STILL WAITING may fill that void.
Video: (1080p High Definition16x9 Widescreen 1.78:1) A great picture to see just how disgusting the restaurant business really is.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) A nice clear audio that isn’t necessary for the surround sound other than the commotion of busy patrons having dinner.
Audio Commentary with Director Jeff Balis and Writer Rob McKittrick: They give a very funny self-deprecating commentary. They are aware of their mistakes and trash their own film. I appreciate the self-awareness.
Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (23:23): About twenty total scenes some funny most are not.
Outtake Montage (5:25): Divided into three separate segments, the blooper reel is very not funny but the follow up adlibs garner a chuckle.
Sloppy Seconds: The Making of “Still Waiting” (46:13): This is composed of surprisingly candid interviews mostly with director Jeff Balis and writer Rob McKittrick. It’s refreshing to see one of these featurettes where the people don’t take themselves too seriously being completely honest and tease themselves rather than the usual praise.