"WAFFLE STREET" — 1 star — James Lafferty, Julie Gonzalo, Danny Glover; not rated, likely PG; LDS Film Festival 2017
The movie "Waffle Street," made in 2015 and screened at the 2017 LDS Film Festival, has most of the elements for success but somehow doesn't quite make it.
There's a true story behind the film's premise: Jimmy Adams is fired from his cushy hedge fund job and sets out to reinvent himself at the local waffle and chicken shop.
Portrayed by James Lafferty in the film, he has to start at the bottom, busing tables, cleaning toilets and getting supplies from the freezer. Of course, everything that can go wrong does from dropping a flat of eggs to having to fix a seriously clogged toilet with nothing more than his hands and a pair of latex gloves.
The people in the movie with him don't know quite what to think of him from his co-workers to his anal boss.
Somehow his wife, Becky (Julie Gonzalo) is fine with him dropping from a high finance job to a two-bit career that keeps him working long hours for almost no money to selling their Audi and their posh house while she is pregnant with their first baby.
His plans to buy the franchise are crazy given that he has no money with which to purchase the place and no real business plan. (This from a guy who has an MBA in business and experience.)
He is educated, talented and enthusiastic about his new direction, but it's clearly a dead-end road.
It's interesting that the fry cook Edward (Danny Glover) can befriend and mentor him though he's previously been in prison for some 20-odd years for a minor offense.
And the crazy lady at the counter, who asks everyone for money and figures she will pay Adam back, pays him back his $5, signaling a possible change in luck.
Since this is based on Adam's personal story, it's not fair to say it's unrealistic but it really feels like a series of predictable calamities similar to watching an "I Love Lucy" episode.
"Waffle Street" is not rated, but likely PG; running time 90 minutes.