tek's rating:

Waiting... (R / unrated)
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Okay, this movie is about the staff of a restaurant called Shenaniganz. I need to say that I work as a dish washer at a restaurant, myself. And probably most of the people who work there have seen this movie, and thought it was really good, though of course also really disgusting. At least one of them recommended it to me at some point. I think he even said I reminded him of one character... um, Calvin, I think. I need to ask him about that. Anyway, so I finally got around to watching it. And first of all, I have to say I'm glad the place I work isn't really like this. I'm sure there are places like this, at least to some extent, though probably not quite this bad. I mean... I'm lucky I don't have to deal with customers, but I do have to hear servers complain about them. And I'm sure they're usually right to complain. Customers can definitely suck in any number of ways, and may very well honestly believe it's the servers who suck, and not themselves. Because people are stupid and self-centered and rude, without even realizing it. (Probably sometimes the servers are also wrong to be quite as annoyed at the customers as they are, but mostly I'm gonna side with the servers.) In any event, there's a line at one point: "We should probably feel guilty, but she broke the cardinal rule, Don't fuck with people that handle your food." I don't think... what the cooks did to one customer's order was appropriate. By which I mean, they went way overboard. You've probably heard of cooks spitting in food (sometimes for no reason at all), and while no one where I work would do a thing like that, customers like the one in this movie definitely deserve it. I just don't think they deserve the full treatment her food was given, here.

But the way the staff may deal with rude customers is just a small point of the movie. It really hasn't got much of a plot, actually; it's just a day in the life of the people who work there. There's a new waiter named Mitch (John Francis Daley, from Freaks & Geeks), who's being trained by an experienced waiter named Monty (Ryan Reynolds). Mitch, of course, appears aghast at a lot of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, but he doesn't really get to say anything about it til the end of the movie (though it's really cool when he finally does get to speak his mind). Meanwhile, we get to know other characters better. Monty is pretty laid back, thinks he's really cool, and funny. Though he seems to have a thing for teenage girls, which maybe kind of bothers him. There's a host named Natasha (Vanessa Lengies), who is like a week away from turning 18, who clearly likes Monty as much as he does her, so there's the question of whether anything will happen between them or not. Yet. There's a manager named Dan (David Koechner) who seems pretty clueless and lame (a sort of stereotype boss, and luckily the managers where I work aren't like that). There's a waiter named Dean (Justin Long), whom Dan offers the job of assistant manager, so a big part of what passes for the movie's plot is him trying to decide whether to take the job or not. There was a guy who Dean had taken the same honors classes with in high school, and now this guy, Chett, has graduated college with a masters degree, and Dean still hasn't finished community college, and doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. There's a waiter (I think) named Calvin who doesn't seem to do much work. He's more concerned about trying to get in touch with this girl he had a date with. Apparently, he never gets anywhere in relationships, because he lacks confidence and stuff. He also has recently developed a shy bladder because he's paranoid in public restrooms. Which I think is ludicrously ironic, considering his willingness to play "the Game," which I'll explain later. The head cook is a guy named Raddimus (Luis Guzmán), who actually introduced the Game to everyone at some point in the past when he started working at Shenaniganz. I don't really know what to say about him except that he has a girlfriend named Danielle, who I'm not even sure if she works there or not. Anyway, their relationship seems to be just about sex, which she makes some token protests about, but always gives in without much trouble. There's a dish washer named Bishop (Chi McBride) who likes to give advice to his coworkers, sort of a mix of philosophy and therapy. Or whatever. There's a waitress named Naomi (Alanna Ubach) who is just in a constantly wretched mood, and seems to hate everyone, especially customers, though she's good at being fake-nice to them. There are a couple of blonde waitresses named Serena (Anna Faris) and Amy, who I never really got to know at all and found them pretty much interchangeable. There are a couple of bus boys named Nick and T-Dog, who think of themselves as like gangsta rappers or something, but they're mostly just goof-offs. There's a cook named Floyd (Dane Cook) who's kinda crazy, and seems too easily annoyed. There's a bartender named Tyla, but we don't see much of her.

Those are all the major characters. What else can I say? Oh yes, "the Game." This is where the guys try to trick each other into looking at their genitalia, in various positions. If someone looks, you get to call them a fag and kick them in the ass. Like I said, it's weird that Calvin is paranoid about people looking at his penis in the restroom, but doesn't mind flashing his coworkers for the Game. But honestly, I'm just super glad we don't do anything like that where I work... cuz I couldn't work in a place like that. That's just insanity. I really doubt that would go on anywhere outside a movie like this. Still, Bishop did have a good explanation of it, at one point. And to be honest... well, I'm not comfortable with any degree of... whatever. People will talk about stuff that I can't stand hearing. And they seem to be normal, the people I work with. In fact, many of them seem to be of a higher class than a lot of the people I overhear like on the bus, or really just about anywhere in public. Or on reality shows (which I avoid like the plague). So... I can't help but feel like a weirdo, being as sensitive as I am to the way people talk and some of the things they do. Still, it's more tolerable in a movie than it is in real life, even if the movie is way more over the top than real life.

Other than that... I'm probably forgetting stuff, but like I said, the plot isn't that important. Though I will say that in spite of being over the top in terms of how sick it can be, in some ways it really is a lot like working in a restaurant. A mix of personalities doing these jobs that suck, dealing with customers that suck, servers complaining about tips that suck, everyone dreading people coming in just before close. (I can't tell you how accurate that is, but I will say this: if a restaurant is within a half hour of closing, and especially if it's within a minute or two of closing, you are an asshole if you come in and order anything. I don't care how nice you are or how well you tip- and people coming in that late aren't likely to tip well- you're an asshole. So just don't do it. Because we all just want to go home, already. And one customer with a simple order can make us stay like an extra hour, maybe. We don't get paid enough for that shit to be worth it.) Um, what else? There's a party after work that everyone goes to. Some interesting stuff happens there, but I don't want to spoil any of it. In closing, I'll just say... this movie will probably be more enjoyable to you if you've ever worked in a restaurant. If you haven't... you may still like it, and it may help teach you to be nicer to your server when you go out. Which is bloody important. Other than that, it's basically a funny movie, even if there's not much to it, really.

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