Waitress movie cast: Keri Russell, Andy Griffith, Nathan Fillion, Adrienne Shelly, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto
Waitress movie director: Adrienne Shelly
Waitress movie rating: 4 stars
A rom-com, a slice-of-life film, an inspirational and follow-your-dreams kind of movie…. The 2007 release Adrienne Shelly directorial Waitress ticks all these boxes successfully. It is never pretentious, and it only takes off the ground in terms of melodrama when it absolutely has to.
A southern belle, Jenna (a charismatic Keri Russell), is a waitress who is a master pie-maker. She bakes one for every strong emotion she feels — There is ‘I hate my husband pie’ and there is a ‘Bad baby pie’ and there is even another one called ‘My husband will kill me pie.’ The shots and the sequences featuring the pies and Russell together are mouth-watering, drive-you-to-hunger brilliant.
Keri’s character is trapped in a bad marriage with an awful husband who beats and berates her at every chance he gets, and despite those aforementioned things, claims to ‘love’ her. Ah, that pure emotion, which our heroine hardly feels during the course of the film. She wants to run away, to break free and bake pies — but she is pregnant and financially dependent on her husband. Enters Doctor Dreamy Jim (an aptly cast Nathan Fillion). But will he be able to save Jenna, and more importantly, does she really need his help? The rest of the narrative takes off from there.
This is not your regular romantic comedy affair because the end is not predictable. Not immediately of course. And it also strays from the genre when during a scene, our heroine has no qualms in admitting that she feels no affection for the baby in her womb as she never wanted to start a family with the man she hates. Despite dealing with issues such as domestic abuse, adultery and dreams, Waitress infuses comedy into the story seamlessly. What director and writer Adrienne Shelly has ably managed to do here is create an affable protagonist whose world is well-fleshed out and whose problems are real. Which unfortunately doesn’t happen very often, simple as it might seem.
Hollywood Rewind: Pride and Prejudice | The Dark Knight | Before Sunset | School of Rock | About a Boy | A Few Good Men | 50/50 | Begin Again | Brooklyn | Drive | Chocolat | Batman Begins | 10 Things I Hate About You | The Departed | Freedom Writers | Pretty Woman | Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | Tangled | Meet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles
There is also a small sequence wherein Jenna breaks the fourth wall and looks at the camera directly after discovering a new facet of her personality. She doesn’t say anything but Russell’s expressions are priceless — it is both hilarious and charming at the same time. Perhaps my favourite from the film.
Late comedian Andy Griffith as the diner owner Joe is a complete coconut — hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Filmmaker Shelly also makes a prolonged appearance as waitress Dawn — she owns the part. Interestingly, Shelly was pregnant with her first child when she was writing Waitress.
While Waitress is a warm and delicious film altogether, you would do well to stay away from it if you are trying to watch your health. All those gorgeous looking pies are bound to nudge your hungry bone in the wrong direction. You have been warned.