Waitress (2007)

(On DVD, January 2008) You wouldn’t necessarily expect a film about an unexpected pregnancy in the middle of a loveless marriage, leading to an affair between two married people, to be a feel-good movie. And yet that’s exactly what it is: a sometimes-bitter, but mostly-sweet film about a woman rediscovering herself and taking control of her own life. The direction is charming, the script is steadily amusing and the acting is right where it needs to be: Nathan Fillion and Kari Russel are an ideal romantic couple, and the supporting characters hold their own. The ending is a perfect cap. What doesn’t work as well is a certain unevenness of tone whenever the abusive husband is concerned: as soon as he enters the picture, Waitress seems to hop into a far less pleasant reality –which is part of the idea, but still disconcerting. I could quibble about the deus-ex-inheritance of the ending, but it does fit a certain fairytale ideal. Plus, I can’t stay mad at any film that uses Cake’s “Short Skirt Long Jacket” so effectively. Don’t be surprised to develop a sudden craving for pie while watching.

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