Wednesday, May 2, 2007
This movie truly made me both happy and sad at the same time. Happy, because it's honestly one of the best movies I've seen in well,AePforever. And sad, because director Adrienne Shelly will never be able to make another like it.
Jenna (Keri Rusell) works with friends Becky and Dawn (played by Shelly) at Joe's restaurant, a small diner in the South that specializes in pies - and baking them is the only happiness Jenna ever gets in her life. Her controlling husband, Earl, demands every dollar she earns, won't let her have any freedom, and insists that all her thoughts and actions be dedicated to him and his needs.
When Jenna realizes she's pregnant, (which will make her dreams of escaping Earl almost impossible), she meets Dr. Pomatter (a gentle and awkward Nathan Fillion), and an affair develops that makes Jenna realize that maybe she is worth more than she thinks she is, and that happiness may be possible if you make the right choices. In the words of the cantankerous diner owner, Old Joe (played with perfection by Andy Griffith!), sometimes you have to "start fresh".
At the risk of sounding cliche, this is not your typical romantic comedy. Shelly's script infuses just the right amount of comic laugh-out-loud moments with heart-tugging realism. Her grasp on the characters is expert - when Jenna jumps into fantasies about possible new pie recipes, you go with her, and then back into the story seamlessly. Most notably: there are no perfect characters, no fairy-tale illusions, and certainly no neat ends. What you're left with when the credits roll is an inspiring, touching, very real, and believable story.
For those unaware, director, actor, and writer Adrienne Shelly was murdered before this film was completed. Her family and friends worked hard to make sure her last film was released. Waitress is currently playing in limited theaters, and will hopefully open nation-wide soon.