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The Waitress

If only life were as easy as pie.

The quirkily beautiful actress Adrienne Shelly, with her oversized eyes and lips, made a striking debut in Hal Hartley’s early films The Unbelievable Truth (1990) and Trust (1991) and quickly established herself as someone too intelligent and singular to become yet another Hollywood bubblehead blonde. She turned writer/director with a series of shorts and features that were, to put it politely, distributor-challenged. With the new film Waitress, she at last found a way to stay true to her personality and wit while making a hugely entertaining film. Keri Russell stars as Jenna, a pie shop waitress who loves to invent new pies based on her own moods. Her best friends are her co-workers, Becky (Cheryl Hines) and Dawn (Shelly), both with their own odd relationship troubles. Jenna has just discovered that she’s pregnant, but hates her horrible, jealous, suspicious husband, Earl (Jeremy Sisto). She visits the sweet, nervous Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion), newly arrived in town, and they become instantly attracted to one another. Jenna’s complicated emotional ride results in a series of amazing pies, shot in loving overhead close-ups. Andy Griffith co-stars in a wonderfully cranky role as the pie shop’s owner and star patron. Using a style that faintly echoes Hartley’s, Shelly beautifully balances deadpan humor, pathos and heartbreakingly lovely moments of happy truth. But there’s more: Shelly was horribly and inexplicably murdered in November of 2006, and so Waitress also serves as a kind of goodbye note to the world. While it’s little consolation to her friends and loved ones, at least we can hope that, like Jenna, she had ultimately found a kind of happiness. Or, perhaps like the pie shop manager Cal (Lew Temple) says: happy enough.
Showtimes: 

No screenings currently scheduled.

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Directed by: 
Adrienne Shelly
Running Time: 
100
Country(ies): 
USA
Language: 
English
Starring: 
Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith
Screenplay by: 
Adrienne Shelly

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