By Andrea K. Hammer
Waitress, a delightful comedy written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, is a rare film managing to mix humor and drama as well-balanced ingredients. Focusing on the friendship of three sassy small-town waitresses facing a variety of crises, the movie places Jenna’s (Kerri Russell) dream to win a $25,000 pie contest as the driving force to free her from an abusive husband.
Cleverly Filmed Pies Spinning Across the Screen
As a coping mechanism to deal with her difficult personal situation, Jenna (Kerri Russell) constantly dreams up pie recipes with hysterical names. One of the most riveting elements in Waitress is the filming technique used to present delectable-looking pies in every flavor. With increasing hunger for a sample, viewers watch velvety chocolate poured into pie shells spinning across the screen.
Talented Actresses Convey the Power of True Friendship
In Waitress, the genuine and constant support of the three friends is an equally powerful element in the comedy’s success. Along with Keri Russell, Cheryl Hines as Becky and Adrienne Shelly as Dawn all deliver humorous and touching performances. From exaggerated facial expressions to tender moments demonstrating their loyalty to each other, the actresses reveal their masterful range of comedic and dramatic talents.
Skillful Actors Convincing in Troubling Scenarios
As the verbally and physically abusive husband Earl, Jeremy Sisto succeeds in making viewers groan and urge Jenna to find freedom. Nathan Fillion, as Dr. Jim Pomatter, serves as a foil and adds warmth playing Jenna’s conflicted extramarital love interest. In a surprising cameo, Andy Griffith delivers an unexpectedly heartfelt performance as the diner owner Old Joe and Jenna’s fussy customer but deeply supportive friend.
Special Features Include Heartbreaking Information
After the comedy ends on an upbeat note, a memorial feature about Adrienne Shelly reveals beyond sad information that remains top of mind. Other bonus material includes “This Is How We Made Waitress Pie” and “The Pies Have It!”
An insert in the DVD package also provides welcome information about the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, an important tribute supporting the artistic work of actresses, writers and directors.