In the Weeds

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Rating: R

Starring:
Joshua Leonard as Adam
Molly Ringwald as Chloe
Ellen Pompeo as Martha
Michael B. Silver as Marlon
Sam Harris as Jonathan
Eric Bogosian as Simon
John Paul Pitoc as Chris
Bonnie Root as Becky
Kirk Acevedo as Kurt
Peter Riegert as Barry
Caroleen Feeney as Alice
Godfrey as Stan
Lenny Citrano as Jack
Bridget Moynahan as Amy
Rene Millan as Hector

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 90 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film was originally released in 2000. The following is from the DVD cover:

“Simmering with comedy and passion, this tasty movie treat serves up Bridget Moynahan (The Recruit, Coyote Ugly), Ellen Pompeo (Catch Me If You Can, Old School), and Molly Ringwald (Teaching Mrs. Tingle) in a stylish look at the highs and lows of one night at a cool New York City restaurant. Everyone knows that the waiters and waitresses at a busy big city bistro are really just aspiring actors, models, and writers looking for a shot at stardom. What they don’t know is that tonight … while dealing with obnoxious customers, cranky chefs, and a hot-headed owner … some will get their big break, some will break up, and others will break down! Also featuring Eric Bogosian and Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project) in a stellar ensemble cast — only time will tell whether the colorful crew can keep it together through the night without losing their jobs!”

In the Weeds is rated R for language and some sexual content.

The Movie:
In the Weeds is an interesting concept. It explores the world of a group of waiters at a fancy New York restaurant. It’s a common everyday thing that you take for granted, but there’s a lot of interesting social interactions that go on within that world which are ripe for a comedic character exploration. I tried to think of some other films that successfully explored the world of waiters and waitresses but I came up short. So for originality, In the Weeds scores points.

The New York setting throws in another interesting twist in that almost all the characters are aspiring actors or writers. The restaurant is a place where they wait in limbo until they move on to bigger and better things. In the meantime they take abuse from their bosses, some customers, and even each other. I’ve seen it happen myself in the real world. My roommate in college was studying to literally be a rocket scientist, but he was treated like a moron and a second class citizen by the manager of the restaurant he worked at. It’s a weird dynamic and one that allows for all sorts of drama between characters. In the Weeds takes advantage of that well.

But besides setting up an interesting environment and the potential for drama, In the Weeds is funny, too. A waiter loses an engagement ring that a customer requested to be put in a dessert. A chef with a bad attitude loses it when a customer sends a steak back to be re-cooked. Then there’s a race between waiters to sell off the most of a bad wine. These all generate a lot of laughs.

The cast of In the Weeds is pretty good, too. Joshua Leonard is the standout as Adam, a waiter that is not only going through a bad breakup but is assigned on this particular night to wait on the annoying owner and a potential investor. The pressure on him from all sides is fun to watch. He slowly starts developing a relationship with Ellen Pompeo as Martha. Martha is a newcomer to the restaurant. Her cute looks and positive attitude make her fun to watch and it’s easy to see why Adam would fall for her quickly. Molly Ringwald is also good to see as Chloe, the veteran waitress at the restaurant. Stuck in “limbo” too long, she begins to lose hope that she’ll ever get out of the restaurant. Broadway star Sam Harris is also fun to watch as Jonathan, the frantic manager of the restaurant. His neurotic personality generates a lot of the laughs in the movie.

If you’re interested in comedies about relationships or if you’ve ever worked as a waiter or waitress, then I think you’ll enjoy In The Weeds.

The Extras:
There are no bonus features included on the DVD.

The Bottom Line:
In the Weeds takes a seemingly simple setting and uses it as a backdrop for a funny and entertaining character study.

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