Waitress Review

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The titular waitress, Jenna (Russell), is miserable. Her husband (Sisto) is a selfish oaf and she’s just found out that she’s pregnant with his unwanted child. When her plans to leave him are thwarted, she throws herself into the arms of her new doctor (F


For the love of all that’s delicious, do not go into this movie on an empty stomach, unless you’re happy to chew wetly on the dandruff-encrusted headrest of the seat in front of you.

Waitress is a film that expresses its emotions through food, and given the high amounts of feeling flying about, that’s a lot of onscreen treats to make your belly pine for the nearest concession stand.

A server at a cutely ramshackle pie-based eatery that seems to gently thrive despite being situated on the outskirts of Arsendofnowhereville, Jenna (Keri Russell) wants nothing more than to be a whole lot less pregnant; to leave her odious husband and to bake the best pies she can, each named after whatever’s on her mind at the time - Bad Baby Pie; I Hate My Husband Pie.

The woman’s not happy. So, she does what any right-thinking girl would in such a situation: she bakes her ass off and starts boffing her gynaecologist (Nathan Fillion, a man who improves any movie by 27 per cent with his charming befuddlement).

The final film by actress-turned-director Adrienne Shelley, who was tragically murdered late last year, is as wonderful a legacy as anyone could ask. Though played entirely deadpan by the small but perfectly formed cast, Shelley’s script and direction sing with wit and emotion (she also makes an adorable turn as Jenna’s dorky colleague). Russell, a ‘name’ in the US but known over here chiefly for dying in M:I-3, is a concoction of such delicious sweetness, so many sumptuous layers and such a warm centre beneath a slightly flakey crust, that she leaves audiences unable to resist loving
her and journalists incapable of avoiding overcooked pie puns.

Every character is given a respectful, affectionate arc, regardless of how little screentime they might enjoy, and even with its happiness to dance with the absurd, there’s nary a moment that rings false in Jenna’s journey of self-discovery.

As the first bud of what should be a flourishing career for Keri Russell and a final chapter in the too-short story of Adrienne Shelley, this is a nigh-on perfect creation. Every ingredient is selected and assembled with care, and the finished product will leave you pleasantly full for days.

An unassuming treat amid the noisy blockbuster season. It’ll melt your heart and any dietary resolve equally.