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Great.....now I'm hungry!

  • Jan 17, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+3
This movie almost remind me of the TV sitcom Alice: set in a small, out-of-the-way diner run by a cranky head cook with a heart of gold, and staffed by a trio of waitresses, the brash Blondie Southern one, the child-like and naive one, and the level-headed single mom (or mom-to-be, in this case), along with the typical assortment of wacky and colorful customers. Writer/director Adrienne Shelly manages to take this template and make something wonderful from it, however. Far from being a mere remake of Alice, Waitress is a well-conceived and well-executed exploration of one woman's fight to come into her own and realize her dreams, despite the bad choices and wrong decisions she's made along the way that weigh her down.

What truly sets this movie apart from most other big-screen fare is the script. The dialogue, written by Adrienne Shelly - who also directed and co-stars as Dawn, the mousy waitress who eventually finds true love - sparkles with wit, charm and humor. It's fast and it's funny, but it always feels totally natural, due in no small part, of course, to the talents of the actors and actresses charged with delivering it. Unlike the writing in, say, Gilmore Girls, widely praised for it's unique character, the dialogue in Waitress never seems forced or unnatural. It's brilliant without being obtrusive.

My only downsize to this film is the fact that the "men are dogs" message is a little heavy-handed. Without exception, all the male characters in Waitress are presented as either mean, like Earl (Jeremy Sisto), unprincipled, like Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion), or just plain weird, like Ogie(Eddie Jemison's). Even Joe (Andy Griffith), who turns out to be truly kind and caring, is shown throughout most of the film to be abrasive and demanding, to the point that long-suffering Jenna is the only person who can deal with him and is truly his only friend. This is obviously a film made by a woman, primarily for a female audience, but one can't help but think that if a man made a film in which all the female characters were nothing but gold-digging, abusive, sluts, there would be a serious, if well-deserved, backlash.

Waitress is a good movie that is well worth seeing. It's tragic that Shelly, who was brutally murdered in November 2006, won't be making any further films, as this movie will no doubt bring awareness of the writer/director's impressive talents to a much wider audience than ever before. Fortunately, Waitress is a fitting memorial by which to be remembered.

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More Waitress reviews
review by . May 21, 2009
Waitress Poster
To start things off, Waitress is billed as a comedy.  While this film does have some really funny moments, it is definitely a drama.  Waitress has quite a slow beginning and doesn't really pick up until the last half hour of the film.  Keri Russell gives a decent performance in the film, but the show stealer in this movie is Nathan Fillion as Jennas (Russell) OB-GYN.  Fillion might just be one of the funniest actors along with Ryan Reynolds out there today.    Keri …
review by . May 11, 2009
I didn't expect much from this film from the start as it was a little bit campy at first but it got better as it went along. The waitress is actually a woman that works at a pie diner who designs the pie of the day which is based on her feelings. In some ways this part reminded me of "Like Water For Chocolate" where the food takes over people's emotions.     The waitress has a very unhappy life, married to an insensitive bore, who sometimes hits her. She gets pregnant only because …
review by . February 21, 2008
posted in Screen Gems
What can you say about a movie that's funny, charming, heartbreaking, heartwarming, honest, smart, and full of more good pie recipes than your average cookbook? It's simply wonderful.    'Waitress' defies easy description or categorization, because its not just a romantic comedy, not just a drama, not just an 'indie' film, but it has elements of all of these things and uses them in excellent balance.    Where most romantic movies opt for the cheese factor …
review by . May 11, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Everything is sweet about this movie. Jenna (Kerri Russell) lives in a small Southern town with her boorish husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto). She make great pies and works as a waitress in Joe's Pies shop.     Her two waitress colleagues have their own problems with men.     Jenna learns that she is pregnant and fears that a baby will keep her tied to her husband. The new OB/GYN in town, however, finds Jenna herself a sweet treat as well her pies and tarts.     …
review by . January 07, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
I didn't expect much from this film from the start as it was a little bit campy at first but it got better as it went along. The waitress is actually a woman that works at a pie diner who designs the pie of the day which is based on her feelings. In some ways this part reminded me of "Like Water For Chocolate" where the food takes over people's emotions.     The waitress has a very unhappy life, married to an insensitive bore, who sometimes hits her. She gets pregnant only because …
review by . December 01, 2007
This movie was not quite what I expected.     I expected a feel-good romp of a movie. Not so much, here. Yes, there are charming and funny Dr. Seussian - type moments. But they just add flavor to the complex characters that populate the film.     I appreciated the positive spin on the value of the life of a baby even though it's unwanted. It is referred to as a baby the entire movie. A few characters, all married, dabble in affairs. As disappointed as that …
review by . November 28, 2007
On the surface WAITRESS is a simple, honest, unpretentious, funny, tender, and sensitive film about simple people in a small Southern town: it is the core of the film, the examination of individual's choices, consequences, rights, and fraternity that makes the little Indie so special. And another feature that adds a dimension of significance to the movie is that actress/writer/director Adrienne Shelly did not live to see the magic she created: Shelly was murdered in November 2006, a loss of a superb …
review by . November 07, 2007
The movie tells the story of Jenna (Keri Russell), a waitress of a dinner, Keri Russell, who is married to a good for nothing man, Earl, who doesn't treat her very well and takes all the money she earns. He is also abusive and controlling. She finds herself pregnant, a fact she is not very happy about. I guess she fears she may not be a good mother and that it is not fair to any kid to have a father like Earl, who made her promise that she would not love a baby more than him. A new gynecologist, …
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Wiki


Much like the films of Hal Hartley,Waitressis funny in a deadpan sort of way, but a sadness lurks below the surface. After making a splash in Hartley'sThe Unbelievable TruthandTrust, Adrienne Shelly turned to directing withSudden ManhattanandI'll Take You There. Set in a small Southern town, her third picture revolves around waitress Jenna (Felicity's radiant Keri Russell), who works at Joe's Pie Diner (Joe is played by Andy Griffith). Jenna is the pastry genius who makes Joe's joint shine. Her co-workers include the forthright Becky (Cheryl Hines,Curb Your Enthusiasm) and insecure Dawn (Shelly). All three have man trouble, but Jenna has it the worst. Her husband, Earl (Jeremy Sisto,Six Feet Under), treats her like a piece of property. When she finds out she's pregnant, Jenna fears she'll be stuck with him forever. Then, she develops a crush on her married obstetrician, Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion,Serenity). With the aid of her fanciful confections, like peachy keen tarts, their flirtation develops into a full-blown affair. It appears to be a no-win situation, but Shelly finds an empowering way to bring this bittersweet story to a close. If the candy-colored conclusion plays more like fantasy than reality, it's a fantasy worth embracing. Sadly, Shelly was murdered beforeWaitressever saw the light of day (leaving behind a husband and child of her own). Fortunately, her final film is far more life-affirming than morose, although it does end ...
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Details

Director: Adrienne Shelly
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Release Date: May 2, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Adrienne Shelly
DVD Release Date: November 27, 2007
Runtime: 1hr 47min
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