PG-13 for sexual content, language and thematic elements.
May 2, 2007
Keri Russell, Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines, Nathan Fillion, Andy Griffith
Fox Searchlight Pictures
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- Richly written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly with bittersweet images and comedic overtones, Waitress is the story of a young woman (played by Keri Russell) in a bad marriage. What she does have going for her is good friends and a fantastic gift for creating pies.
Jenna works as a waitress in a diner who serves pies morning, noon and night. Her uncanny knack for creating such delights keeps her sad life from getting the best of her. She creates pies in her head and titles them to reflect her current life situation. ("Pregnant- Miserable- Self-Pitying- Loser- Pie," is what she calls her creation of blackberries and blueberries crushed into a chocolate crust, for example.
Played brilliantly by Keri Russell, Jenna gives viewers just enough hope in her sad eyes to keep herself and the audience going. She is married to an abusive, controlling, selfish jerk, Earl, disgustingly and perfectly played by Jeremy Sisto.
Jenna's only saving grace is the escape she finds as a waitress who creates pies and her two friends who wait with her. Becky, a loving know-it-all, and Dawn, a loving naive bumpkin, are not able to fix Jenna's life, but they do make things funny and interesting along the way.
Andy Griffith comes out of retirement to play Joe, the owner of the diner and every other establishment in town. Joe comes in everyday and sits at Jenna's station. He reads her his version of her horoscope and his version of advice to the "Miss Lonelyhearts" column in the local newspaper. Griffith's performance is nearly perfect as a curmudgeon with a twinkle in his eye.
Another engaging character was Dawn's ardent suitor Ogie, played by Ed Jemison. He turned what could have been a cornball role into "spontaneous poetry."
Much of the movie concerns another of Jenna's attempts to escape and that is the love affair that develops with her doctor, the young Dr. Pottaker. Why would he want to come to this little town, wonders Jenna? His wife is doing residency. The plot suffers here somewhat and the morality of the movie does too, but unlike most movies today, it ends with Jenna's understanding and change of heart.
Jenna's choice to have an affair was not wise, and she knew it. The catalyst for her change was based on what Jesus said about accusing or judging others. In John 8:7 he asks that we look at ourselves before we act. Her friend Becky, married to an invalid and looking for fun, began having an affair, and Jenna was outraged. It took her a minute, but then she saw the plank in her own eye and knew she had to get it out. Her affair was just as wrong as Becky's.
A good movie is like a good pie. The choice of the ingredients is what makes the difference. Waitress is an entertaining movie with a delightful surprise ending. The late Adrienne Shelly, the movie's writer and director, has given moviegoers a wealth of characters, and they are all cleverly scripted and presented. Although adultery is rebuked, the depiction of adultery in one sex scene requires extreme caution in viewing Waitress.
Address Comments To:
Peter Rice, President
Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1833
Fax: (310) 369-2359
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