Thursday, January 29, 2009

Movie Review: Waitress

Yes, I'm still without my laptop and yes, I miss it...

But I'm making do with the little Mac. That's its name.

Last night I finally watched the DVD of Waitress, which has been languishing on my table for about 3 weeks. I knew it was about a frustrated wife and I wanted to wait until I wasn't as frustrated with things so that I could watch it objectively.

Keri Russell is a delight and so pretty. Seriously, if we could pick who we could look like, I'd pick her. She plays Jenna Hunterton, a waitress in a small Southern town who discovers that she's pregnant after a drunken night with her oppressive husband, Earl. I know, why are they always named Earl? It reminds me of the Dixie Chicks song.

Despite living a miserable life with Earl (Jeremy Sisto,) Jenna is resourceful and smart. She's also close to her fellow waitresses Becky and Dawn (Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelley) and kindly tolerant to the diner's owner Old Joe (Andy Griffith.)

But more than anything or anyone else, the thing that brings Jenna joy is creating new recipes for pies. It is her outlet, her release, and the one thing that she knows she can make that everyone appreciates. Her pies' names are almost as creative as their ingredients, like "Lonely Chicago Pie," "I Wish I Wasn't Having Earl's Baby Pie," and "Spanish Dancer Pie." Baking makes her feel centered, nostalgic for her mother, and in control amidst her out of control life.

She is loved and appreciated by everyone around her except for the one who is most important, her husband. And when the new doctor (Nathan Fillion) takes notice of her, he and Jenna begin a friendly affair. Friendly, because she finally has a man who listens to her and values her.

The dialogue is smart, the story is sweet, and the characters--with the exception of Earl and Cal, the diner's manager--are instantly likable. Yes, Earl is awful, but it is obvious that he's also a bit loopy. Still, you stay optimistic and hope that things will work out for Jenna in the end. Without giving anything away, it is worth seeing it through to the end.

Waitress was a great little film. I can see why it won rave reviews. It is so simple and yet so good, without the need of special effects, bad language, sex and violence. Written and directed by Adrienne Shelley, who plays Dawn in the movie, it is also a bittersweet ode to its creator, who was killed before the film was released. I for one, however, can attest that she created something both endearing and enduring.

I highly recommend this film.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Thanks Kristie. I love your movie reviews because I never have the slightest idea what movies are out there and so when we get the rare occasion to watch one we are always at a total loss. For instance, I'd never even heard of Waitress before, but I think next time I have a chance, I'll rent it.