4 Newport Beach Film Festival Hits: I Wish, Servitude, H2indO, Memorial Day
|They probably don't want to go in there.|
Having screened Sunday night at Island Cinemas, the low-budget flick is about a guy named Josh (Joe Dinicol, who has this whole Jay Baruchel thing going) giving it right back to shitty customers and the new owners of Ranch Steakhouse on his supposed last shift as a waiter before heading off to law school. Josh enlists co-workers played brilliantly by John Bregar, Jeigh Madjus and Rachel Skarsten to join him on his crusade, and many howl-worthy moments ensue.
Veteran actors in key roles keep the proceedings humming, including: Dave Foley, who is no longer a kid nor a denizen of the hall; Enrico Colantoni, who you'll recognize from movies like A.I. and Galaxy Quest and TV shows like Just Shoot Me! and Person of Interest; Linda Kash of Second City, Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman fame; longtime Degrassi student Lauren Collins; and Ms. Lois Lane herself, Margot Kidder, with some seriously plumped-up lips. Screenwriter Michael Sparaga said during his post-screening Q&A with Collins that Kidder got off the plane in Canada with her lips just having been done, so she's obviously method.
The writer says he parlayed his own waiting experiences into his screenplay, which took a couple months to write and 13 years to get made, largely because he kept it in a drawer. When the Canadian government decided to fund comedy films, he took it to a writing lab and got it picked up 1 1/2 years later. It was shot in 15 days in an abandoned restaurant Sparaga likened to "summer camp."
He defended his movie as being "not anti-customer but anti-bad-customer." He hopes it eventually gets as big as the comedy Waiting, although Sparaga admitted a built-in audience of table servers usually don't work hours that movies play in theaters. If you weren't there Sunday night, hope that Servitude is served down here in the fall, when it is to be released in theaters.