Saturday, September 08, 2007

Friday Film Night - The Waitress

This Friday our Natasha Oakley brings us the worst Pink Heart fuzzy rating of a movie we've yet had at the Pink Heart Society.

Anyone else seen 'The Waitress'?


I thought I deserved a treat and took myself to see it. I sooooo wish I hadn't bothered. Most of the reviews I've seen describe it as 'an upbeat comedy' or 'engaging' or 'likeable' .. So, perhaps it's just me???

What makes it all the more annoying is that I had to drive to the big complex in Milton Keynes and pay lots of money to sit on their plush raked seating. There were six of us watching and two of those walked out halfway through. So perhaps it wasn't just me????

Keri Russell plays the titular waitress Jenna who is unhappily married to Earl, (beautifully played by Jeremy Sisto), a controlling and violent man. Her hopes for the future are centred on a pie baking competition. If she wins the prize money she'll be able to leave him.

Jenna, you see, is a genius pie maker. She pours all her emotions into her baking and gives each 'special' a name which goes someway to describe the angst that went into its creation, such as 'I Hate My Husband Pie... You take bittersweet chocolate and don't sweeten it. You make it into a pudding and drown it in caramel'.

Also at Joe's Diner are fellow waitresses - Becky (played by Cheryl Hines) who spends most of the movie worrying about her boobs ('If you havent noticed, my right boob is way up here in Maine and my left boob is danglin' down here in Florida') and Dawn (played by writer and director Adrienne Shelly).

Becky's married to a man who's so old he's 'back wearing diapers' has an affair with Cal, the manager of the diner, and Dawn ends up marrying a strange man called Ogie who likes to break into 'spontaneous poetry'. I suppose I'm supposed to find some of that funny but it missed me completely.

The unhappy Jenna finds she's expecting her husband's baby.

Dr. Pomatter: So, what seems to be the problem?
Jenna: I seem to be pregnant.
Dr. Pomatter: Congratulations!
Jenna: Thanks, but I'm not so happy about it like everybody else might be. I'm having the baby and that's that.

Dr Pomatter (played by Nathan Fillion) is new to town and married to a medical student. Despite this the two quickly begin an affair. Jenna looks pretty marvellous throughout her pregnancy but it's a little hard to believe. And it's not very nice, is it?

For me their whole relationship didn't work because the movie gave no space to explaining Dr Pomatter's actions. As it is I found his behaviour unlikeable, despite being played well by the very sexy Nathan Fillion. I'm not sure whether I was supposed to want them to elope or whether I was supposed to see their relationship as some kind of learning experience for Jenna.

All the while Jenna is still baking her pies.
- Earl Murders Me Because I'm Having An Affair Pie... You smash blackberries and raspberries into a chocolate crust.
- I Can't Have No Affair Because It's Wrong And I Don't Want Earl To Kill Me Pie... Vanilla custard with banana. Hold the banana.

It's only when she's giving birth, and meets Dr Pomatter's wife in person, she makes the decision to end their relationship. She also ends her marriage.

Whilst I don't dispute Earl needed to go, I do think that's a fairly horrendous time to do it. I suppose you could argue she only had the courage when she fell in love with her baby ... but it didn't work for me. Earl is always going to be Lulu's father and it is his baby too!

The upbeat ending is provided by the death of 'old Joe' who leaves Jenna the diner. Oh and she wins the Pie Baking Competition. Presumably Dr Pomatter continued cheating on his wife???

I know I was supposed to enjoy the quirkiness of the characters - and, to an extent, I did - but the pie thing really began to pall on me and I didn't like anyone much.

The real life murder of writer-director Adrienne Shelly in November 2006 tragically overshadows this movie. She wrote the screenplay while she was pregnant with her daughter, Sophie and it's Sophie who plays Jenna's daughter, Lulu, in the final scenes.

I wish I'd liked it. I wanted to. Obviously some people do. Apart from the positive reviews flying about on the web Adrienne Shelly was nominated for the Humanitas Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2007, 'The Waitress' won the Audience Award for Best Feature and Nathan Fillion Best Actor at Newport Beach Film Festival and Adrienne a festival award at the Sarasota Film Festival.

Nevertheless, since this is a personal review, I have to give it a Pink Heart Fuzzy Rating of nil! Not only did I not leave the theatre with a warm and fuzzy glow I was propelled towards a fast food chain for a Big Mac and fries to drown my sorrows in carbohydrate and saturated fats.

Anybody out there who can explain this movie to me??????

With love

This July saw the start of a brand-new series in the Presents line - The Royal House of Niroli.

"The Mediterranean island of Niroli has prospered for centuries under the Fierezza men. But now, as the King’s health declines, and his 2 sons have been tragically killed, the crown is in jeopardy. Who will rule? "

Natasha's book, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride' will be in the shops in October and is a
Romantic Times Magazine Top Pick. Click here for the full review.

Happy Birthday Lil Pink Guy from your friends:

"Happy birthday to everyone at Pink Heart! Thanks for making it the best place on the 'net for category romance readers and writers! May we have many many more years as wonderful as this one." xxx Anne McAllister

Are you in to try and win tonnes of goodies with The PINK HEART SOCIETY TREASURE HUNT???

Today's Birthday Present for the Lil Pink Dancing Guy can be found at Nicola Marsh's Blog...


  1. I'm with you. Infedelity is never funny. Bring on the romance...let's leave the lit fic for those who like angsty bits.

  2. Natasha, I'm so sorry you wasted your money on the movie. I love reading your reviews and felt sad that you were so disappointed in this one. Clearly so much of the content is contentious, after all an affair between a doctor and his patient is an offense under medical council rules isn't it? But for that doctor to be married as well? Ugh! Bring on next Friday's movie review.

  3. Yes, thank you for reviewing this.I had read the reivews and thougth it sounded strange.
    I am glad that I am not the only one who does not consider infidelity romantic or heart warming.
    Maybe it is more of a chick lit type film?

  4. I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy the film, Natasha. I hate to say this, but perhaps other reviewers gave it good coverage because of the tragic circumstances surrounding it?

  5. Does sound like a bit of a stinker. Haven't seen it myself yet. One thing that's always frustrating is when the marketing people bill a film as a comedy when it isn't funny -- and this one doesn't sound like it's got a lot of laughs in it. There ought to be a trade descriptions act for movies!

  6. I never like movies that present adultery as some tragic star-crossed lovers thing. It's more and more common these days. I'll give that one a miss!

    Kate H.

  7. Natasha,
    Thanks for telling it like it is. I'm going to give it a miss -- and I'm sure I won't be sorry. Not a fan of adultery myself -- even with Nathan F.!