Starring: Keri Rusell, Nathan Fillion, Jeremy Sisto
Director: Adrienne Shelly
Running Time: 107 mins
Waitress is an American film about a young waitress living in the deep south who, amidst an unhappy marriage with a horrible husband, discovers she is pregnant, and in a last attempt to find true happiness, has an unlikely relationship with a new-found friend of hers.
Well, I’ve got to say that I absolutely adored this film. Full of uplifting comedy, a loveable main character, and a brilliantly funny screenplay, this film is on the whole hugely enjoyable, however it introduces a strong dramatic note along the way to make it not only entertaining, but enthralling at the same time.
This film is set out in a very similar layout to most other independent comedy-dramas. The opening stages are all very jokey and fun, however as the story unfolds and the characters develop, it snowballs into a hugely dramatic and ultimately hard-hitting film that really manages to get to the core of you.
However, let’s start at the beginning with the comedy. I wouldn’t just call this quirky, but simply hilarious. It’s the story of a small-town girl with big-town problems, and that does make for some of your classic quirky comedy, however what this film also manages to do is not fall too deeply into that genre, and maintains an atmosphere of often stupid and farcical humour, that’s still relevant to the story, but absolutely hilarious.
Then, there’s probably the main reason why this film is so uplifting and adorable. The main character, Jenna Hunterson (played beautifully by Keri Russell), is probably the most likeable film character I’ve ever seen. Although you’re left immediately shocked that she’s in this horrific life, you see that shining through her slight depression and sadness is an incredibly kind and thoughtful person, who manages to battle through everything no matter what, meaning it’s absolutely impossible to avoid supporting her all the way through the story.
In contrast to that uplifting nature, this film does take a massively dramatic turn in the middle of the story. One of the most amazing things about this is that not only does it shockingly spin the entire atmosphere of the film into something a little more dark, but it actually manages to become incredibly suspenseful at points, which entices you even more in the story and the characters.
So, although there is a huge shift in the tone of the film to something more dramatic, it maintains its level of comedy, and manages to remain uplifting throughout all of the dark parts of the story, making it one of the most enjoyable and enthralling films I’ve seen in a long while, and that’s why it gets an 8.4.