In Case You Missed It Monday… ‘Waitress’ – We Are Movie Geeks


In Case You Missed It Monday… ‘Waitress’

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I love quirky dramedies and yes, I also love baking. So what? Laugh if you want, but home-baked goodies are like heroine to me. Anyway, how do these two seemingly irrelevant things have anything to do with one another? They have everything to do with each other when speaking about the 2007 movie ‘Waitress’.

‘Waitress’ was written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, who also co-stars as Dawn in the film, which stars Kerri Russell as Jenna Hunterson. Jenna is a waitress and “pie genius” working at Old Joe’s Pie Shop. Jenna loves making pies and that’s all she wants in life. Well, that and… to get rid of her mentally and verbally abusive a**hole of a husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto) once and for all. No, she doesn’t want him killed, just gone out of her life.

Her fellow waitresses and best friends, Becky (Cheryl Hines) and Dawn (Adrienne Shelly), help her to cope with her selfish, emotionally draining loser of a husband, especially once she discovers that she’s pregnant as a result of letting him get her drunk one night. Now, with her well-laid plans to escape Earl for good at risk, Jenna struggles to decide how she’ll restructure her plans while keeping the baby.

‘Waitress’ is filled with quirky characters, but none of them are bizarre to the point of being absurd. The entire story occurs in a subtly strand little universe that seems to exist just outside the normal boundaries of real life. Nearly the entire film takes place in the little pie shop, which is in a small rural town that might as well be on Mars. Nathan Fillion (Slither) plays Dr. Pomatter, Kerri’s replacement gynecologist and short-lived secret love interest.

Kerri Russell (August Rush) does a fantastic job as the talented pie-maker Jenna with the quiet and polite exterior, but whom hides emotions that boil and churn just under the surface like a molten eruption of frustration just waiting to explode. Jenna feels trapped, evenclaustrophobic by her husband Earl, who is played with a creepy unlikable effectiveness by Jeremy Sisto (May). Dawn and Becky are pinned as stereotypical characters with quirks of their own and even Old Joe is given some pleasant life as a horny old multi-divorcee played by Andy Griffith.

‘Waitress’ is a charming tale of a woman who yearns to break free of her failed marriage and start her life over on her own terms. The movie is filled with emotional lows and truly sells Jenna’s determination and justification for wanting out of her marriage, but also plays wonderfully on Jenna’ssensibilities to her own ethical concerns regarding her pregnancy, her marriage and her life.

Jenna uses her odd and unique pie creations as a creative outlet for her varied emotions, giving them strange names like “Bad Baby Pie” or “Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie”. Jenna and her pies are the life-blood of the pie shop and everyone realizes that but Earl, whose whole world revolves around himself and expects Jenna to put him on a pedestal without any reasonable return of sincere affection or gratitude.

‘Waitress’ can be seen as having a negative tone towards marriage, but it’s the extent to which Earl is a lousy and unworthy husband that confirms Jenna’s intentions and places her goals within the realm of acceptability. Jenna does keep the child, whom she names Lulu and the movie does ultimately result in ahappy ending, but not necessarily as one might have planned. The small ensemble cast is great, the story is heart-felt and original with a healthy mix of gentle but quirky comedy and genuine drama. ‘Waitress’ is a great pick-me-up film to watch that leaves a resonating residue of relief after enduring Jenna’s daily plight.

Hopeless film enthusiast; reborn comic book geek; artist; collector; cookie connoisseur; curious to no end