Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Much like the films of Hal Hartley, Waitress is funny in a deadpan sort of way, but a sadness lurks below the surface. After making a splash in Hartley's The Unbelievable Truth and Trust, Adrienne Shelly turned to directin... more »
Heartfelt and Artistic
Ron | Berkeley, CA USA | 06/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Waitress" is one of the best films I have had the privelege to see so far this year. It is right up there with "Namesake." I loved everything about this movie: the directing, acting, writing. Let's start with the directing. Just as Scorsese did in "After Hours" and Truffaut did in "The 400 Blows," Shelly showed her heartfelt and artistic vision in "Waitress." There's one particular scene sequence that comes to mind that exemplifies this vision. It happens right after Jenna made love to Dr. Pomatter. There's a silly afterglow on her face. You see it when she's carrying trays in the restaurant. You see it when she's making pies. And you especially see it when she's sitting on a bench, waiting for the bus. That look on her face and the way the film was cut with those quick scenes left a profound impact on the viewer. You knew you were in a moment of brilliance. You can just feel how happy and liberated Jenna felt at that moment in the movie. Now let's talk about the acting. Everyone was perfectly cast. I liked how Jenna was cold as ice at the beginning of the movie, warm-hearted in the middle, and assertive by the end. I liked how Dr. Pomatter was nervous at the beginning, calm in the middle, and love-struck by the end. But the character I was impressed by the most was Earl. Here is someone who could've been one-dimensional. In most movies he would've been a real jerk with no redeeming qualities. That's not the way Earl was portrayed in "Waitress." Yeah he was a control freak with fits of temper. But there was a reason for his unacceptable behavior: he was insecure and required constant approval by Jenna. That scene in the restaurant where he broke into the wedding reception, I was sure he was going to beat the living crap out of Jenna. Instead, he cries like a baby because he wants to know why Jenna hid money all over the house. This scene--which brings up the terrific writing--exemplifies how this movie is not a cliche and very real to life. I could go on and on about how terrific this movie is, but I highly recommend you to experience it for yourself."
Dropped Into the Pie Shop Universe
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 06/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While "Waitress" is not flashy, it puts a smile on your face. Kerri Russell will probably forever be tagged as TV's Felicity - Senior Year Collection (The Complete Fourth Season). As Jenna, she turns in a comic & varied performance that bounces between joy & despair, submissiveness & assertiveness. Under director Adreienne Shelly's deft touch, the film handles the subject of domestic abuse with sensitivity and caring.
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!
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 05/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Towards the end of Adrienne Shelley's poignant "Waitress" there is a scene involving a very pregnant Jenna ( a luminous Kari Russell) and Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion) in which, as described by Jenna in voice-over, Pomatter embraces Jenna for 20 minutes with warmth, caring and empathy and more importantly for Jenna without a hint of lust. It's the kind of embrace that an intimate friend would give you: an embrace of platonic love, an embrace of understanding and commiseration. It is also an embrace which pretty much encapsulates all that is good and real about "Waitress": a film that is ultimately about hope and love and the redemptive properties of Pie.
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.
What a wonderful "feel good" film!
Serena Gutnik | Georgia | 09/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can I say? You leave the theatre sighing and, if you're lucky, a tingle down your spine. This is an Everywoman movie and the writing was just superb. Since someone else took care of the plot description, I can focus on what was so special about this film. I went to it purely for Nathan Fillion's part in it and was blown away by Keri Russell. I had never been a big fan of hers; I was neutral about her and I hadn't seen her in much. She IS this character. Funny, heartbreaking, smart, stuck, honest, and lonely. The chemistry between Russell and Fillion was smokin', but so was her chemistry with everyone else! Her scenes with Andy Griffith could melt any "chick flick" cynic out there!
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!"