Originally the film Waitress hadn’t registered on my list of films to see, it took a tragedy to really bring it to the attention of general audiences. That tragedy was the murder of the director and one of the stars of the film, Adrienne Shelly. Shelly, a longtime independent actress and director was found hanging in her bathroom. Originally deemed a suicide, a construction worker came forward to say that he murdered the actress. Since then her film has gained a huge following and is getting recognition everywhere it goes. But Waitress is not going to be remembered just for its tragic background, it’s going to be because of its incredibly sweet story and an utterly splendid job from Keri Russell.
Jenna Hunterson (Keri Russell) leads a life that nobody would envy. Her husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto) beats her and takes her money, never letting her do anything, while her friends Becky (Cheryl Hines) and Dawn (Adrienne Shelly) are dealing with their own troubles in love. When Jenna finds out she’s pregnant after a drunken night with her husband she’s anything but thrilled, until she starts a relationship with her doctor (Nathan Fillion). As Jenna gets closer to her due date everything seems to be going up and down, with the poor girl having no idea what to do with her life, the only thing she knows is how to invent new and creative pies which are the only things that give her life meaning.
Waitress is probably one of the sweetest films to come out of Hollywood in a long time. The story itself about a small-town girl with dreams of opening a pie shop is a very humble story and Shelly makes everything about the film wholesome, from the costumes to the setting. The film doesn’t tend to drag and has something for everybody. While it is a chick flick, with the love story and all, it has a lot of drama and quite a lot of humor. You might need to see the film twice just to catch all the subtle jokes in the film. The drama in the film is very unconventional for your standard romantic comedy, something I thoroughly enjoyed. Jenna is not one of those mothers who is happy to be having a baby, her doctor even has to tell one of the nurses not to congratulate her, to Jenna having a baby is just one more person to take care of and keep her trapped in her crappy life. The good thing is that Waitress is, at its core, a story about tough women. Jenna may start life as a doormat but by the end of the movie you know she’ll find her strength. Which takes me to the point of, I couldn’t actually find anything bad to say about Waitress and that’s what makes the film so amazing is that you can relate to it on any level which makes it more enjoyable. You also have to love Jenna’s pies and it’s great to actually watch her make them in her head. And her names for these pies are hilarious such as “I Hate My Husband Pie” or “Screaming Baby That’s Going to Ruin My Life Pie.”
A lot of the magic of Waitress comes from the cast. Keri Russell is not Felicity by any stretch of the imagination in this film. She’s always is able to give 110% in every scene of this movie and it shows. You feel for her when she’s sad, and you laugh along with her when she’s happy. You constantly want her to leave her husband and be with the good Dr. Pomatter and cry when she finds the courage to make her choices in love. That’s what makes a great character, the ability to relate and Russell makes you love Jenna like she’s your closest friend. Nathan Fillion is good as Dr. Pomatter, I’ve been a big fan of Fillion’s since his days on Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place and you love his good-boy charm in this. Jeremy Sisto is nothing short of spectacular as Jenna’s abusive husband Earl, he’s one of those characters you love to hate, and veteran actor Andy Griffith is great as the cantankerous Old Joe. Jenna’s two friends are also a highlight of the movie. Becky, played by Cheryl Hines, is hilarious always talking about her lopsided breasts and director Adrienne Shelly acts as the dippy Dawn who is so sweet and loveable. I also have to give a shout to Ocean’s 11 actor Eddie Jemison who plays Ogie. He is so hilarious; in fact see the movie just to watch him recite his “spontaneous poetry.”
In the end Waitress is probably one of the sweetest romantic comedies to come out in awhile, yes pun intended. Keri Russell is so hilarious and perfect in this film and you will definitely fall in love with her. Do yourself a favor and be sure to see Waitress with those you love.