Andrienne Shelly wrote, directed, and co-starred in this very satisfying 2007 Indie movie. Before Ms. Shelly knew if her just completed movie would be purchased & distributed, Andrienne was murdered in her apartment by a petty thief – she was 40. Since then, Waitress has been made into a Tony nominated Broadway Musical – new music written by Sara Bareilles – and has been touring the country. Maybe it’s the backstory, or maybe the touring musical talking, but this is by far the best Indie movie seen in 2018, and maybe the most enjoyable movie of all this year.
A pie baking extraordinaire Jenna Hunterson (Keri Russell, The Americans) is working as a waitress in a small diner in the South, married to a mean man she does not love, and finds out she’s pregnant – that is the opening scene. Her two waitress friends Becky (Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Dawn (Andrienne Shelly) are her support. Andy Griffith (The Andy Griffith Show, 1960–1968) is excellent as Joe, a customer and pie store owner – this was Andy Griffith’s second to last movie – and her “weird doctor from Connecticut” Dr. Jim Pomatter (Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) is the affair. The movie is her life throughout her pregnancy up until her baby arrives.
Waitress is simple, direct, most characters are likable, and it has the whole gamut of emotions – funny, feel good, warm, foodie, nostalgic, and upsetting; this is the first movie I could tell was written by a woman (that is meant as a compliment).
I am not particularly fond of Keri Russell but she is phenomenal in this movie playing Jenna, using outstanding facial expressions to let you know what she’s thinking. As my sister pointed out, I probably enjoyed this movie the most since it is the only happy movie I have seen in years – good point Kathy.