Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, Anna Faris
Director: Rob McKittrick
Running Time: 94 mins
Waiting… is an American film about the antics of a group of teenagers and young adults working in a restaurant as they while away hours of boredom and frustration.
An enormously enjoyable slacker comedy that’s as funny as it is strangely and wonderfully innocent, Waiting takes a look at the troubles and fears of young adults stuck in the early stage of their careers with a delightful blend of heartfelt honesty and hilarious humour. Complete with a fantastic ensemble cast, it’s a lot of fun to watch, proving more than simply 90 minutes of lazy, juvenile jokes.
The term ‘slacker comedy’ is an easy one to throw around, particularly in criticism. But there are some films which are able to take the story of struggling, unsuccessful and lost individuals and turn it into something both funny and genuinely moving.
The films of Judd Apatow are a great example of that, while Adventureland is a perfect example of how coming-of-age drama plays a big role in the core drama of a good slacker comedy. And so is the case with Waiting, a movie that’s light-hearted, funny and very silly, but tells a real story with relatable and moving drama at heart.
Now, on the surface, the main purpose of this movie is to make you laugh, and that’s something it does rather well. Though not a raucous rollercoaster ride because of its slow pacing and small-scale setting, the film is full of great humour that includes a little bit of crass, juvenile comedy, clever wit and a relatable look at working in a dead-end job at a young age.
That means there’s a lot to enjoy about this movie, while its ensemble cast of young comedic stars – including Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, Anna Faris and more – provide great entertainment throughout.
However, it’s that window into the lives of young people trying to find direction in their lives in a dead-end job that makes the film so engrossing at times too. Working as waiters and waitresses in a mid-range restaurant, they’re far from depressed, but aren’t exactly enthusiastic about their outlook either.
What this film does so well, however, is celebrate the fun and importance of all the silly little things in a day-to-day environment in staving off boredom and eventually depression when you’re not in the best of places. From the staff’s ridiculous games behind the counter to their dysfunctional romances, the film shows how those trivial parts of everyday life are actually what give you direction and purpose, even if it’s not the grandiose way forward that you might be looking for.
It’s an understated message that you don’t often see in Hollywood, but Waiting does a really good job at bringing it to the forefront in both heartfelt and funny fashion. It’s not a cynical, depressing movie by any means, and it uses its identity as a slacker comedy to the full, making it both fun and captivating to watch from start to finish. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.