Jackie Mason: “It ruled.”
If you saw and liked Juno but could do without the copious sass, you'll really be charmed by Waitress. Keri Russel plays Jenna, a small town waitress who is rather gifted when it comes to making pie, but that is about the only happy thing in her life. She hates her controlling idiot husband and has been saving her tips for the day when she can leave him. However there is a barrier at every turn, especially when she finds out that she is pregnant.
This really is a movie about women, but it's real underlying themes are universal. It celebrates life's little joys, amid the ups and downs and does so in a comical way. It's female characters are working class heroines. One living with a controlling self absorbed husband who she has no love for. Another with a bed ridden crippled husband who she is taking care of. The third is single and lonely. Whenever Jenna is feeling a strong emotion, be it diappointment, joy, sensuality, she closes her eyes and dreams up a new pie recipe to fit her feelings, a running symbol througout the movie which is quite charming. Which is probably what I liked so much about this film. It doesn't over complicate. It's characters prove that artists exsist everywhere, even if the medium is mundane and work related. The pie is an outlet for expression in a world where she doesn't have much of an option to express herself in other ways. And that art, be it born from pain or joy, can bring happiness to others. However this movie isn't simply about existence, there is a larger theme as well.....
Spoilers ahead!, skip to last paragraph... The ending was perfect for the story line. Going through the whole movie just wanting happiness for herself for a change and not caring for the baby growing inside her, Jenna gets a nice surprise when she realizes what she actually wants and realizes her true path to happiness in the end. It's also a good answer to the movie's other theme, that the main 3 women (representing basic personality outlines that all women can pare themselves down and fit into) judge their self worth based on what men think of them or feel about them. The idea that all women need a man in their life to love them, or make them feel sexy, or notice them. A theme that is treated in an unbiased fashion in both negative and positive lights. Seeing the main character finally choosing to love herself first, despite how the two men in her life made her feel during the duration of the film, makes for a good lesson taught and buttons up the story as sweetly as the symbolic pies throughout.
/end spoilers It would seem by the front cover that this is a chic flick directed at groups of women sitting around eating popcorn together and crying but it really is a story about respecting self and finding self worth. For the male characters struggle with this same basic problem even if they aren't the main focus. Again, making it universal. I recommend it to any gender.