Monday, July 02, 2007


What kind of husband comes to pick his wife up, blaring his horn all the way until he gets there. Doesn’t get out of his car or greet her, just nods for her to get in. Quick. That gives you a small idea of what Earl is like. There’s much more.

So, what does she do about it? She makes a pie in his “honor.” Jenna is a waitress at a small diner in a small town. She’s the pie-maker, and she’s a genius at it. It’s kind of a Zen thing, making pies.

But besides the I Hate My Husband, she bakes Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie (lumpy oatmeal with fruitcake mashed in), and Earl Murders Me Because I’m Having an Affair pie (smash blackberries and raspberries into a chocolate crust), and dozens of other concoctions. It seems dreaming up pies is the only thing she can do. Until she becomes pregnant one night because her no-good husband got her drunk.

This is a little gem of a film that absolutely should not be missed. Keri Russell of “Felicity” fame has found a vehicle worthy of her talents. Adrienne Shelly is the director and writer of this film, and plays the nebbish “Dawn,” one of two waitress friends who serve as Jenna’s extended family. And it’s wonderful to see actor Nathan Fillion, lately of the sci-fi movie Serenity, who makes nervous seem like charm as Jenna’s doctor attraction.

The script is very clever. When we’re not cringing from Earl’s cruelty, we’re laughing at the dialogue.

Dr. Pomatter: I want to talk to you, somewhere outside of here. Maybe we can have a coffee or something?
Jenna: I can’t have coffee. It’s on the bad food list you gave to me. What kind of doctor are you?

Jenna has to find her way through an untenable situation, through the drama at work and at home and at the doctor’s office, and figure out how to live her life.

Regardless of the pirates and silver surfers that are out there this summer, Waitress is one you should hunt down and see, because you’re going to get so much more out of it. A little lesson on how to be happy. Some information on why women have affairs. And there are all those luscious pies, illustrated for us in living color. It’s a sure recipe for an incredible movie. Thumb’s up.


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