Monday, June 18, 2007

"Waitress"

Previews: A Mighty Heart, Sweet Land, ... and something else. I can't remember what it was. "Sweet Land" looked kinda cute, I might give it a try.

"Waitress" is a very sweet, often sad movie that I liked very much. It's not perfect by any means, but it made me smile, and it made me cry, and it made me wish director Adrienne Shelly had the opportunity to make another film, because this one shows so much potential.

(follow ...)

Jenna is a waitress and piemaker, married to a violently controlling husband whom she does not love. She finds she's pregnant, which puts a crimp in her only dream - to save enough money to run away from her life.

I was a little worried about the over-the-top-ness of the very beginning, but the movie found its way quickly and settled down. A few characters in particular were too deliberately quirky, but luckily they weren't the focus of most of the story. The focus was Jenna, and her relationships: with her coworkers/friends, husband, doctor, unborn child, and old Joe, the diner owner.

I appreciated the honest ambivalence with which Jenna deals with her pregnancy - she sees the child as a trap, as one more thing controlling her life. And I liked how, as soon as she was born, the child becomes something completely different: a reason for Jenna to control her own life. I didn't quite buy her husband's reaction after the baby is born - a control freak letting go so easily? - but by that point, he has become beside the point.

It was really hard for me, at certain points, not to think about the real way in which violence impacted this movie. Not every woman gets to walk off happily into the sunset.

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