Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Waitress (2007)

This independent film was recommended to me by my friend Kim. I'd seen it in our local video rental store many times and was always intrigued, but I avoided it because the description on the back hinted that the main character, Jenna, might cheat on her husband, and normally I'm against that kind of thing and don't really want a movie to make me feel all warm and fuzzy about the new guy, who's so much better for her and really understands her, etc., etc.

But Kim recommended it, and I trust Kim. I liked it a lot. There is marital infidelity in it, but the movie doesn't force you accept it as somehow inevitable and the only way to true happiness, and it serves to develop the characters quite a bit. The characters are more complex than in most movies, too. There are great scenes where the Jenna, a waitress who makes unique pies at the diner where she works, creates pie recipes with names based on what's happening in her life: "I Hate My Husband" Pie (he's definitely hateable) and "Earl Murders Me Because I'm Having an Affair" Pie (I don't think I'm giving anything away here).

Anyway, it's a good movie that actually makes you understand life and people a little better. Thanks for the recommendation, Kim!

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Don't read this part unless you want to be sad; it kind of ruined my initial enjoyment of the movie: The film was written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, who also plays Jenna's fellow waitress and friend Dawn. She was pregnant when she wrote the film, and her daughter plays the toddler at the end. Just after it was accepted at the Sundance Film Festival, Adrienne Shelly was murdered, apparently in a fairly random incident: she walked into her office and found someone stealing money from her purse, and he killed her and tried to make it look like a suicide by hanging her from a shower rod with a bedsheet. Her husband found her. The guy who did it is in prison now. Anyway, sad stuff happens to all kinds of people, I guess.

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