In the 12 years since its release, Kevin Smith's pitch black convenience store comedy 'Clerks' has, like all great cult films, staked out its own special place in cinema history. Smith himself never bettered it, although you'd like to think the upcoming, '10-years-later' sequel 'Clerks II' offers the prospect.
Shot on a budget of just $27,000, 'Clerks'' influence can be seen in many films and TV series and, regardless of the merits of the sequel, Smith's debut will continue to be handed down the generations as a rites of passage movie.
'Waiting...' owes such a debt to 'Clerks' that you wonder were there bailiffs standing off camera on the set, but fans shouldn't make the mistake of thinking it's a worthwhile stop gap in the countdown to 'Clerks II'.
Set in a franchise restaurant called Shenaniganz, 'Waiting...' takes us through just another working day for its very dysfunctional staff. Monty (Reynolds) is the ladies man who's rarely short of a good answer for former flame Serena (Faris); side kick Dean (Long) is coming to realise he wants a bit more from life than after hours parties and a decent tip; Raddimus (Guzman) is the chef and creator of the staff flashing competition while Mitch (Daley) is the new recruit who can't get a word in edgeways. But he's about to learn the most important lesson for Shenaniganz staff: clock-watching, food-tampering, colleague-harassing and talent-scoping are always at the top of the menu.
Like Faris, Reynolds is a comic talent, but he's yet to be rewarded with a script that does justice to it. Painfully episodic and with no proper plot, 'Waiting...' shuffles from one set-up to another with little in the way of originality when it comes to either characters or laughs. Most of the time it's tackier than the Shenaniganz décor and while a couple of moments might raise a chuckle, be aware that you're not going to be sitting through anything with the smarts of 'Office Space' or 'Swingers'.
Another one of those restaurant experiences where you'd be better off buying a bag of chips.