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Waitress (Widescreen) (Sous-titres français)
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This charming comedy from late director-writer-actress Adrienne Shelly is the perfect mix of sweet and sour. FELICITY'S Keri Russell stars as Jenna, a waitress stuck in a marriage to a less-than-lovable lout (Jeremy Sisto, SIX FEET UNDER). When she learns she's pregnant with his baby, she seeks solace in two things: pie-baking and an extramarital affair with her hunky but nervous OB-GYN Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion, SERENITY). Jenna is an artist with crusts and fillings, creating a ham-and-brie quiche (which she calls "I Don't Want Earl's Baby Pie") and a cinnamon spice custard confection ("Kick in the Pants Pie"). Her relationship with her doctor gives her something to look forward to as her husband grows ever more controlling and her baby bump gets larger.
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What truly sets this movie apart from most other big-screen fare is the script. The dialogue, written by Adrienne Shelly - who also directed and co-stars as Dawn, the mousy waitress who eventually finds true love - sparkles with wit, charm and humor. It's fast and it's funny, but it always feels totally natural, due in no small part, of course, to the talents of the actors and actresses charged with delivering it. Unlike the writing in, say, Gilmore Girls, widely praised for it's unique character, the dialogue in Waitress never seems forced or unnatural. It's brilliant without being obtrusive.
My only downsize to this film is the fact that the "men are dogs" message is a little heavy-handed. Without exception, all the male characters in Waitress are presented as either mean, like Earl (Jeremy Sisto), unprincipled, like Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion), or just plain weird, like Ogie(Eddie Jemison's).Read more ›
Overall - a very charming feel-good movie. If you are a woman and unhappy or struggling with a relationship (or have in the past, as I have) - this is a great movie for you. I think it's also great for anyone who's been pregnant or wants to get pregnant.
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Jeremy Sisto who will probably be remembered for his appearances on TV's Six Feet Under - The Complete Third Season plays Jenna's controlling husband Earl. I kept flashing on the Dixie Chicks' song, but it was never used in the film that has a great musical selections. Sisto plays the role as a bruiser, but also with levels of dependency and desperation. His selfish nature only buys into Jenna's pregnancy when she promises not to love the baby more than she loves him. As she promises, the irony is that she does not love him at all and lives in complete fear. Each time he grabs the money she makes from her, pulls up and demands that she meet his needs, as an audience we cringe.
As I watched the movie, I did not know that the waitress Dawn was also the film's director or that she was murdered before the film's release. These real-life events give the film a haunting feel. Shelly's performance is affecting as the girl who wants love so badly that she sets up five-minute dates so she won't be disappointed.
Nathan Fillion who was in "Slither" and six episodes of the TV series "Drive" this year plays Dr. Pomatter who finds himself irresistibly attracted to Jenna. The sparks that fly between the two put a smile on our face, despite the fact that we are watching two married people carry on an affair. Again, Shelly's touch is magical as a subject that should not be funny or romantic is given such a human face that we find ourselves drawn into their world.
Cheryl Hines from the film Cake & TV's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" plays the third waitress, Becky. She has one of those amazing smiles and embraces the character lovingly. The theme of an affair is repeated again as we find that Becky cares for a disabled spouse and finds a little secret joy.
North Carolina favorite Andy Griffith plays Old Joe who owns the pie shop. His banter with Jenna shows a crusty old geezer who observantly dispenses advice. It is an excellent cameo that could provide a sentimental dark horse Oscar nomination. Lew Temple who was in "Domino" plays the diner manager Cal who badgers the waitresses every time they head to the bathroom to discuss matters. Shelly gives him some touching levels as we see the scene where he dispenses his philosophy of life to Jenna. Eddie Jemison who has been in all the Ocean's films (11, 12 & 13) almost steals the show as the oddball romancer Ogie whose on-the-spot poetry is hysterically touching and awful at the same time. Shelly's screenplay reveals so many levels for each of the characters that we feel like we have been dropped into their real-world universe. This excellent small-budget film deserves great rewards at the box office. Enjoy!
Though often bordering on the sitcomishness of "Alice," Adrienne Shelley's ("Trust") "Waitress" manages for the most part to get at the heart of its concerns with humor and a good hearted wistfulness that never turns sour or maudlin: terms that can also be applied to Kari Russell's career making performance as Jenna.
"Waitress" is sly, smart and level headed. It is not always driven by anything resembling common sense but instead by those things that cling closer to the human heart like understanding and a very basic and profound humanity.
This is a very charming film and the characters have plenty of funny moments to work with. It's highly entertaining and I was very taken by Keri Russel's performances. The supporting cast all turned in strong performances. I thought the Adrianne Shelly who played the fellow waitress and her funny boyfriend had the funniest moment in the movie. The ending was kind of predictable but I also thought it had built up for the audiences to expect to see a second ending which I won't reveal.
Okay. Yes. I admit that I love Steel Magnolias, Mystic Pizza, Because I Said So, Beaches, Ya Ya Sisterhood, Practicl Magic, Thelma and Louise, Charlie's Angels, etc
This should not immediately discredit me from being an unbiased reviewer. I find movies like The Notebook and Bridges of Madison County too maudlin. I like movies like Rush Hour, Serenity, and Demolition Man just as much.
I guess what I'm trying to say in a very circuitous way is that this movie does fit into a genre. It's romantic, dramatic, funny, sad, quirky, dark, and uplifing. The use of pies as a segue is great and I don't even like pie!