Ben Oliver

Now
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film

Waitress

Start fresh.
11 February 2024

Jenna, a waitress at a pie diner (Keri Russell) gets pregnant without wanting to, and doesn’t want the baby. Miserable in her marriage, she strikes up a relationship with her doctor (Nathan Fillion).

A sweet film with an amusingly dark sense of humour streaked throughout. It follows the regular story beats you’ve seen before but manages to deliver a series of gentle surprises right to the end. It’s never quite heading in the direction you think it’s heading, without completely trying to re-write the rules of storytelling.

The performances are great, particularly the relationships between the three waitresses. It’s larger than life yet feels firmly grounded in some sort of reality. I also like Andy Griffith’s part as the elderly snarky owner/customer with a heart of gold. It’s a cliche perhaps but it’s written well and you can see the pain in his eyes, he’s in love with her but he’s so old he lets it go unsaid, and rightly so.

The small town charm is surely an idealised view of the world, yet they sell it and it feels real and like a place you want to visit. A place you hope exists somewhere.

Waitress doesn’t shy away from pain, darkness and drama and as a result really feels like it comes from the heart.