Waitress! (1981) - USA - Comedy - Rated R
Directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman
Starring Jim Harris, Carol Drake, Carol Bevar, Renata Hickey, Hunt Block, Tony Denison, Peter Van Norden, Calvert DeForest
An early Troma comedy that tries to mix a little bit of everything in this dish and ends up with a bad tasting mess instead.
The story of three waitresses working at a sort of high class restaurant. One is an aspiring actress, one is an aspiring writer doing an article for a magazine and working as a waitress to meet people for the article, and one is the daughter of the owner of this and other restaurants who is trying to tame her wild side by having her work as a waitress. They will encounter crazy cooks and other restaurant employees including an over-the-top cowboy, a medical student working as a bartender, a casting director, and an assortment of rude, confused and abused diners.
The first 10 to 20 minutes of this movie does have some laughs, but as it progresses it becomes more muddled due to just a simply chaotic story and characters who are overly loud and overly ridiculous, I guess because the writers must have thought that was funny. I can just imagine this having been written by a group of schoolboys sitting around and thinking that a man complaining about there being a fly in his soup and pulling a pants zipper out of it or a basketball player being asked how tall he is and answering with "6 feet-" then his towel falls off as he adds "-and 11 inches" as being hilarious. Maybe to freshmen in high school at most but much of the writing, to be read as jokes, is simply that juvenile.
There are moments that are funny, and some may even find the juvenile humor funny at times too. The problem is there is so much chaos happening that laughs get drowned out by the characters on screen too easily. It's an obvious attempt at earlier Roger Corman comedies of the 70s featuring 3 to 4 women in a particular profession, this time it is waitresses, and even though it is a muddled affair it is not necessarily any worse than many of those Corman comedies were, but that's still not saying a lot.
I'm fairly certain this is not a movie Tony Denison brags about. Hunt Block, known for his roles on several soap operas including Guiding Light and As The World Turns, is way out of his element in this as he is obviously a very good actor among a sea of overacting. This movie when it was released made a deal out of Calvert DeForest being in it (he was known for his appearances on David Letterman as Larry 'Bud' Melman) even though he is in only one scene, and that's the scene with the fly in the soup joke. Peter Van Norden, a recognizable character actor, is about the only other actor of note in this movie.
My Rating: 2 Fingers. There are some funny parts to this movie, but there is too much of what is not funny, and just simply gross at times, to recommend this movie.