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Justin Long, Ryan Reynolds, ...
Credit: Waiting: Steven Teagle

The best joke in Waiting…, a moderately disgusting comedy about one gruesome day behind the scenes of a chain restaurant, might be that the place is called ShenaniganZ. That’s a plausibly funny name for any fake strip-mall-orbiting eatery. It’s also the height of the movie’s wit. The rest of the laughs (when they eventually arrive; the first half hour is kinda bleak) are mostly scraped from the pit of your roiling stomach. In a scene rightly held up as representative by the movie’s trailer, Blade: Trinity‘s Ryan Reynolds (as the horndog leader of the bowling-shirt-and-apron’d staff) oversees the garnishing of an irksome customer’s steak with dandruff, pubic hair, and loogie. Much time is also devoted to ”the penis-showing game.” With its sweet stupidity and shoddy production values, Waiting… knowingly evokes bad ’80s R-rated comedies, but the differences are telling. Instead of naked boobs like in the old days, here we get gross, (hopefully) prosthetic male and female genitalia. Today, in other words, it’s even more fake — and harder to watch.

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