Summary of the Movie "Waiting..."

by Joshua Wade

"Waiting..." was an early role for actor Ryan Reynolds.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Written and directed by Rob McKittrick, "Waiting..." features performances by Ryan Reynolds and Justin Long and was released in 2005. "Waiting..." follows a group of waiters as they navigate their way through another day of work by pulling pranks on each other and customers alike. A comedic take on the inner workings of a nondescript restaurant, "Waiting..." also deals with the directionless and precarious nature of life after college.


The film opens on a party at the house of Monty, played by Reynolds, a charming, womanizing waiter, and Dean, Justin Long's character, a twenty-three-year-old waiter at a crossroads in his life. Both work at a restaurant, Shenaniganz, where most of the film takes place over the course of the following day. The restaurant's staff embodies the name of their establishment by partaking in various pranks on both each other and customers in an effort to boost overall morale and get through the monotony of restaurant work.

Significance of the Title

The film's primary focus is on Dean, a lackadaisical college student who, after being told about the successes of classmate Chett, calls into question his directionless life. Early in the film, he receives the option of a promotion at the restaurant, a position he considered for the bulk of the film. The film deals in large part with the daily lives of waiters, primarily Monty and Dean and, as much as the title of the film may refer to this, includes the idea of waiting for something better to come along in life, as indicated by the ellipses trailing the word "waiting." Dean embodies this crisis subsequently negated by Monty, content in his life at Shenaniganz, amid whose story lines and various sight gags add humor to what would otherwise be a dramatic plot. Gags played on unsuspecting customers by the Shenaniganz staff in the movie, as well as on other staff members, are seen through the eyes of a trainee, Mitch, on his first day of work.


A female co-worker and ex-girlfriend, Serena, chastises Monty, a sarcastic womanizer, who embellishes his conquests with women throughout the film. Serena snaps at him for chasing after a barely legal co-worker, Natasha, but also finally reveals Monty as less than spectacular as a lover. Shortly thereafter, Dean receives a very small tip-- a little over 60 cents-- from a nasty customer who had run up a large bill. Dean confronts the customer and gives him back the paltry tip, sarcastically telling the customer that he'll need the money more than he does. This slight infuriates the customer who subsequently storms out of the restaurant. The manager witnesses this, subsequently reprimanding Dean while calling into question his own decision to promote Dean to Assistant Manager.


Soon after his confrontation with an angry customer, the restaurant begins to close for the night. Just before closing, Chett enters the restaurant begins a meal while talking with Dean. Before he leaves, Chett gives Dean a sizable tip and tells Dean the same thing Dean told his customer: that Dean will undoubtedly need the money more than he does. In the end, Dean realizes the somewhat demeaning and ultimately meaningless nature of his job and decides to make a choice that will affect his life thereafter.


  • "Waiting..."; Rob McKittrick, Director; 2005
  • "Chicago Sun Times"; Waiting...; Roger Ebert; October 2005

Photo Credits

  • Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images