MOVIE REVIEW: “Waitress” stars Keri Russell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Felicity [TV series]), Nathan Fillion (The Suicide Squad, Castle [TV series]), Jeremy Sisto (Clueless, Wrong Turn), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm [TV series], RV), Adrienne Shelly (I’ll Take You There, Trust), Lew Temple (Unstoppable, The Devil’s Rejects), Eddie Jemison (Ocean’s Eleven , The Punisher ), and Andy Griffith (The Andy Griffith Show [TV series], A Face in the Crowd). It is written and directed by Adrienne Shelly.
A small town waitress (Russell) seeks to finally flee from her abusive husband Earl (Sisto) when she finds out she is pregnant with his child.
We’re cracking open 2022 with a blast to the past. 2007, to be exact.
Sometimes, we get in certain moods and watch films that check the boxes of our feelings. Mine drifted me to the Keri Russell picture “Waitress.” Why? I felt a little somber; sort of gloomy. Funny enough, I had never seen this movie before. Only snippets. And from those brief encounters, I figured that it would fulfill the emotional state I was in.
Fox Searchlight has always kept a special place in my heart. Their films are endearing, witty, and boast some of the rawest emotions that we don’t get too much in blockbuster cinema. “Waitress” is no exception. It’s a bittersweet tale of a waitress trying to escape an abusive marriage, only to complicate things when she becomes pregnant. Her joy in life comes from making pies… and soon enough her doctor, when she suddenly begins an affair. There’s quite a bit to chew on in this piece, and there’s plenty to admire.
For starters, the performances are wonderful. Keri Russell shines in the role of Jenna. Her turmoil and subsequent arc of gloom to joy make for a great character. The players that carve out the cast are also fun, with notable turn-ins from Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Adrienne Shelly (who also wrote and directed this flick), Jeremy Sisto, and Andy Griffith. It was lovely getting to see Griffith in this; I believe it was one of his last big projects. Everyone assumed the small town country vibe, and it’s hard to deny humor that’s derived from that area.
The style and cinematography of this are solid. It’s not flashy, but its wittiness works for me. I loved the various pie recipe inserts. It’s fun, and pie is one of my favorite desserts (for some of those recipes, I was salivating). What added to the humor were the recipe names, all of which were based in specific moments Jenna was going through (“I don’t want to have Earl’s baby pie”). It’s clever, as is the movie.
There’s a sincerity to this picture that’s hard to miss. And while it’s certainly rough around the edges, this team manages to pull of something special. If anything, it’s enjoyable, and the performances carry the small story to something memorable. I don’t see it being for everyone (it’s a pretty sad affair), but for those of you looking for something different, I say pick this title up. FINAL SCORE: 86%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: