When Ryan Reynolds was catapulted to fame after starring in college comedy Van Wilder, he portrayed similar characters in a number of movies high in absurdity but low in sophistication. One such effort, 2005’s Waiting…, will soon be departing from Netflix’s library, as it’s set to make its exit on May 1st.
The film takes place in a chain restaurant, following its staff over the course of a single day as they argue, flirt and gossip with each other, and complain and extract covert vengeance on customers who are particularly rude or annoying. Much of the attitudes to work life portrayed will be familiar to anyone who has worked in the service industry and experienced its ceaseless litany of members of the general public to deal with, along with doing whatever it takes to remain sane when enduring soul-crushing monotony in employment where a certain percentage of the people you interact with on a daily basis think they’re better than you. That last point is most principally demonstrated with the Penis Showing Game, a somewhat self-explanatory pastime where the male staff try to unexpectedly flash each other.
Ryan Reynolds plays the central role of Monty, a waiter content with his directionless life who uses his job and those around him to keep himself entertained. The actor’s natural charisma mostly overshadows the character’s less salubrious traits, although the latter’s predilection for teenage girls makes one cringe, even if the film addresses its problematic nature (“Why aren’t you in jail?!?”).
Waiting… received a generally negative reception from critics, but still managed to double its modest budget in its opening weekend and went on to triple that again during its release. In spite of professionals’ dislike of its occasionally gross-out humor, the movie resonated with audiences and maintains a small cult following, and it’s well worth checking out while you still can if you’re in the mood for something uncomplicated.