Director: Adrienne Shelly | 105 minutes | comedy, romance, drama | Actors: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith, Adrienne Shelly, Eddie Jemison, Lew Temple, Darby Stanchfield, Heidi Sulzman, Lauri Johnson, Sarah Hunley, Cindy Drummond, Nathan Dean, Caroline Fogarty
Jenna bakes incredibly tasty cakes according to her moods and the events in her life and then gives them very special names. When she turns out to be pregnant after being drunk once by her husband Earl, she has made up the recipe for a “bath baby pie” within seconds. In order to escape Earl and the small life he has imprisoned her in, she struggles to save small amounts of money that she hides all over the house. She also wants to enter a pie baking competition and earn $ 25,000 to start a new life, but that will have to be done without the knowledge of Earl, who of course will not grant her permission to do anything that puts her outside of his control.
Jenna shares joys and sorrows with her two colleagues in the diner. Becky (Cheryl Hines) has a disabled husband who takes a lot of care and Dawn (Adrienne Shelly) is an ugly duckling who can’t find a husband. But even though they are very unhappy, neither of them wants to trade with Jenna, that’s how miserable they find her life with Earl. Fortunately, Jenna can also pour her heart out to the also married Dr. Pomatter, with whom she has an affair and with whom she makes passionate love, and with her unborn baby through the letters she writes for the baby book. However, as the birth approaches and Earl knows how to get ahead of every escape attempt, Jenna becomes increasingly trapped in her hopeless situation and despair.
This movie could be called “Mystic Pizza, the sequel”. Even now the viewer lives with the vicissitudes of three waitresses, but of a higher age and with quite a few dents in life. “Waitress” is therefore much grimmer than “Mystic Pizza” (1988), but without ever losing the good-natured undertone of an audience film. At the same time, the film is not surprising or overwhelming, at most entertaining.
Very well portrayed is the disturbed relationship between Jenna and her husband Earl. He is never violent, but above all coercive which makes her terrified to do anything to upset him and give in to his excessively demanding behavior over and over again. She already hears the way he sounds the car’s horn if it is wrong and then cringes. Very penetrating and lifelike.
Tragically, director Adrienne Shelly was murdered in her Manhattan apartment and the film will be released after her untimely death, but if you disregard this fact and judge the film on its own merits, you simply have to conclude that ‘Waitress’ is not a bad one. film, but certainly does not justify going to the cinema. Even though the cakes look delicious and the performance of the elderly Andy Griffith as the grumpy but dead-good owner Joe is great fun, as a whole it is simply not captivating and compelling enough.