Movie Review: Servitude
When you’re out having dinner or drinks at a restaurant or bar, do you ever give any thought about your waiter and how you’re treating them? Well, it might be a good idea to start paying attention and minding your manners. After seeing this movie, your wait staff might decide they don’t want to take any more of your shitty attitude.
Josh Stein (Joe Dinicol) is a waiter at the Ranch Steakhouse, where he’s been working the last 3 years in order to appease his father who wouldn’t pay for law school otherwise. However, he’s fulfilled his work term requirement, written the SATs and is bound for law school. The only thing left to do is quit his job at the restaurant. But he’s been dragging his feet for the last 2 weeks. His overly ambitious girlfriend, Jenny (Kristen Hager) threatens to break up with him unless he resigns.
So Josh goes in on his day off to break the bad news to his boss, Godfrey (Dave Foley). Unfortunately, he gets roped into working when half the restaurant staff contracts food poisoning, and they’re short staffed. Meanwhile, Franz (Enrico Colantoni), a representative of the new German owners, is arriving to review the restaurant and threatens everyone’s jobs. Fed up with their mistreatment, Josh and his fellow co-workers, Tommy (John Bregar), Barb (Linda Kash), Simon (Jeigh Madjus) and Alex (Rachel Skarsten), decide they’ve had enough and begin dishing out the same abuse they’ve received from their customers, telling them what they really think.
The best parts of this movie were any scenes with John Bregar and Dave Foley. Many of the funniest jokes involved them. One of the best was the scene with Tommy and his name plates, which is seen in the trailer. However, many of the other gags felt obvious and forced and, consequently, fell flat.
The movie itself dragged a bit and it’s not until the last quarter, where the waiters rebel that the story picks up. The “tell it like it is” mantra is addictive and it spurs, not only fellow wait staff, but anyone having to deal with rude clients and customers, to wish that they too could do the same.
– Natasha Wong