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Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Cheryl Hines
Nathan Fillion
Keri Russell
Jeremy Sisto.
Adrienne Shelly.
Adrienne Shelly.
Running Time
108 minutes

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Cute romantic charmer keeps its eyes on the pies....

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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 (Fillion). That and making pies. Lots of pies.


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.

Reviewed by Olly Richards

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Waitress
Empire Star Rating

Solid slice...

This indie chick flick has a lot more offer than may first appear. A simple story of a waitress, Keri Russell, who is intent on leaving her oppressive hick husband, even though she has just discovered that she is carrying his baby. Things are further complicated by her new doctor, Nathan Fillion, who she begins to have an affair with, though he too being married. This is about a woman and her desire to break free from her social restraints, with her only ally being determination. It plays out... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by neopol at 11:32, 12 March 2012 | Report This Post

Excellent, for reasons not entirely clear to me. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Turd Ferguson at 19:37, 04 January 2012 | Report This Post

Waitress: Bland But I Couldn't Turn It Off.

For some reason I could not turn this film off but after I was thinking why did I watch that film, It is the kind of film that I would never watch but for some reason I thought it was really good. If this was a pie it would be bland but have flavour at the same time. It's hard to explain this film, the best way to explain it is you have to watch it. I thought it was great that after a while it felt like you knew the characters and also that all the little details like days of the week were not i... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LUCASLITTLEWOOD at 13:30, 04 September 2010 | Report This Post

Delightful Waitress

Funny, frothy, endearing, smart. Great movie. Russell deserved many awards and Fillion is a revelation for people who've never seen him. Shelley's death cost us a great, bright future filmmaker. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 00:43, 03 July 2008 | Report This Post

Why did i like this film?

An hour and ten minutes into this movie (that's just short of 2 hours long) and I have no clue why i am still watchin this movie, let alone liking this movie. It's possibly the level of detail given to each character by the director, maybe the quirky elements i mean i've never seen so many pies or maybe even the delightful warmth that generates from this closely nit small cast. Despite not your typical rom-com of sorts, a suprisingly pleasent treat of a film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by gareth_082 at 17:19, 10 May 2008 | Report This Post

A Lot Of Pies!

I liked this movie, it's got more or less everything in it. Romance, comdey, serious and food! The perfomances were brilliant especially the leading lady with a hell load of problems. Up the duff with her abusive husband, has a affair with the dishy doctor and makes a hell load of pies. Funny and charming, just one word of caution: don't watch this movie without eating something. It makes you want to eat the tv screen as it's that tempting! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 17:08, 04 May 2008 | Report This Post


This film was ok, i felt that it wasn't very original. but very easy to watch as not much brain power needed, but with that being said, the film kept in interested and is very light hearted. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dja_list at 19:55, 17 February 2008 | Report This Post

Fillion is great

i agree with the review, i ain't usually a fan of romantic comedies, but this one was real good. It had that dark kind of humor underlaying it while remaining a really sweet story. Nathan Fillion was fantastic (as always) and Keri Russell is perfect as the everyday girl who's stuck in a really bad situation. Well worth seeing. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Al Swearengen at 21:21, 27 November 2007 | Report This Post

Like Fargo or Withnail & I before it, Waitress is one of those films that'll get funnier with every viewing and the extremely quotable dialogue and hilarious character idiosyncrasies all point to the fact that this is a cult classic in-waiting . The performances on show range from subtle to the outrageous. Russell wins us over very easily. she is surrounded by sound character actors whose performances elevate them above mere supporting roles: Fillion can deliver a line, Sisto shows us both ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 16:44, 12 August 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Waitress

r/Screenwriter: e Shelly g: ssell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith, Adrienne Shelly s Russell) is the perfect waitress living in a not-so perfect life. When her new gynecologist Dr. Pomatter (Fillion) tells her she's pregnant, she tries to find a way to escape from her abusive husband Earl (Sisto). liette Binoche was making t , we're better off watching Keri Russell baking pies, through comedic charms. Indie actress/director/screenwriter Adrienne Shelly... More

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Posted by Wilding at 18:12, 10 August 2007 | Report This Post


I thought it was OK, light hearted inoffensive fluff that I'll have probably forgotten all about by this time next week, but I'm guessing I'm not the target audience Shelly had in mind when she made the film. ... More

Posted by Indio at 23:13, 07 August 2007 | Report This Post

Incredibly unbalanced review

I had high hopes for this film, based on it's box office haul in the US and this review. What a letdown! It's more like a TV movie of the week, suffers from uninspired direction and a checklist of standard small town characters. The 'bad husband' is so ridiculously one dimensional, it's embarrassing and the 'comedy sidekick' waitresses (one of whom is played by the tragic director, Adrienne Shelley) are simply not funny. In fact, the film never recovers from the opening scene which is suppos... More

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Posted by Sambora at 16:04, 06 August 2007 | Report This Post

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