Personally I've never understood the hype over Keri Russell. Apparently I'm not the only one since nobody cares about her anymore. But the point is, I generally find her pretty annoying, and she was the main reason I was a little skeptical about this movie. But I gave it a try and I was pleasantly surprised.Waitress
is the story of a talented pie-maker named Jenna (Russell) who spends her days waitressing at a diner and her nights avoiding her overbearing husband (Jeremy Sisto) as much as possible. This guy is pretty awful - constantly worried about Jenna leaving him, he makes sure she doesn't have access to a vehicle and takes all of the money she earns so she can't use it for anything he's not aware of.
Jenna learns that she is pregnant and when she goes to the doctor to confirm it she meets Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion), whose nervousness is mysteriously endearing to Jenna. She and the doctor soon become closer and the majority of the movie deals with Jenna's struggles over her feelings about having her baby and her moral dilemma over having an affair with the doctor, who is also married.
It doesn't sound like much, but I found Waitress
surprisingly funny, especially the first two acts. As it was winding up it hit a more serious note that I found to be a little dull, but the rest of the movie definitely made up for the lull at the end. All of the performances were great - like I said, Keri Russell doesn't usually do it for me, but I found her not only tolerable but downright endearing
as Jenna. Nathan Fillion is charming as always and Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelly were both excellent as Jenna's waitress friends. Even Andy Griffith pops up as the lovably high maintenance owner of the diner.
Aside from being well-written and well-acted, this movie was also very visually pleasing. The plot and setting of a small southern town lend themselves to a kind of bleakness, but rather than falling in to that cliche this movie is actually very bright and inviting. I really enjoyed the imagery of the pie creation that happened in Jenna's mind based on the situations she was in, although these little scenes just sort of randomly stopped happening halfway through the movie when I would have liked to have seen them tied in throughout the whole thing. Waitress
doesn't completely avoid falling into various cliches - small town cliches, indie movie cliches, romantic comedy cliches - they're all there, but their influence is minimal and overall I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. I think it's appeal is pretty broad and I would definitely recommend it.