Waitress Screen Studies
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Waitress Film Review

Here is my review of the film Waitress

Chris Popp's insight:

In the fun and quirky film Waitress (2007), writer and director Adrienne Shelly gives us a feministic view of how her dynamic main character overcomes her struggles in the South. Jenna Hunterson, played by Keri Russell, is an unhappy waitress who works at a pie diner in the heart of the south. She desperately seeks a way out of her relationship with her smothering husband and their unborn baby. This film crosses an ethical line, but it seems like it tries to relate to the average person and says that no one is perfect. It also implies to seek whatever makes you happy and Jenna, the main character, goes through dynamic changes in order to seek that happiness in life.

The story follows Jenna from the moment she realizes that she could be pregnant all the way up until the baby is born. Jenna works at Joe’s pie diner and is good friends with her female co-workers Becky(Cheryl Hines) and Dawn(Adrienne Shelly), and together the three comfort and support one another as they are harassed by their demanding grouch of a manager. Along with her annoying manager, Jenna has to deal with her husband Earl who constantly seeks to control her, and as a result she is miserable and hasn’t loved him for a long time now. To get away from Earl, Jenna plans to save up her work money behind his back and enter a pie contest that could potentially earn her $20,000 dollars. Along the way Jenna meets an odd nervous doctor who she eventually has an affair with. As the story goes on we see Jenna changing into a more independent person as she tries to make moves and decisions to opt out of her miserable life with her insecure husband Earl to raise the soon to come baby on her own in a better place.

As a viewer, the film gave off a very good “original” impression. It tied in quirky humor and dialogue together and that made the film it’s own, and made it very enjoyable and fun to watch. There were many elements that Shelly used to make it fun and interesting. Every time that Jenna thought up a pie recipe it showed the images of the pie being made along with a musical motif that would signal these parts in the movie. Also the dialogue was quick and snappy or slow and drawn-out at certain junctures of the film, which made it quite humorous. I was most impressed by the dialogue and the way it was written and used. One of the times that this quick snappy dialogue was used was one of the times when she was sitting and talking to the doctor about how she was not happy about having the baby.

Shelly did a masterful job in writing, as she mixed up the dialogue in different situations to really enhance the viewer’s experience and make it more enjoyable. Keri Russell, being the star of the film, often engaged in this quirky, quick, clever conversations; whether it be with the doctor, Joe, the pie shop owner, or even her friends. Another time that this dialogue was used was when Jenna had a conversation with Joe(Andy Griffith) the pie shop owner, and when he asked her about her being pregnant. Russell was also very impressive and did an excellent job of portraying her honest character towards most people and then dramatically switching the way she acted towards her husband Earl. The performance given off by Russell truly showed a lot of emotion and made you feel for her character even when she was committing something that was morally, wrong, such as having an affair with the doctor.

I also admired the little extras parts that were added to the film to give it then fun type of ambience. Jenna always made pies and she was good at it too. It seemed like every time she thought up and made a new pie recipe that it would be an interpretation of how she was feeling. Making pies was the way that Jenna expressed herself. Another strange yet funny element that was added to the film was when Jenna felt a sense of relief and happiness for one of the first times in a long time. This was blatantly expressed in the film by showing Jenna obnoxiously smiling, across several shots and through several locations. That scene was a clever way of showing Jenna’s newfound relief and emotion as it followed her through just about every set shown in the film while she maintained a big smiling grin on her face.

If there was ever a time were you rooted for the person who seemed to be doing the wrong thing it would be while watching this film. Jenna did many things wrong immorally, but Shelly was able to manipulate the viewers in a way that made you root for Jenna, and for her to find happiness in life, no matter what unwritten rules she broke. The dialogue was outstanding and truly draws you in to enjoy this funny, quirky, clever story about a waitress who searches for a better life.

 

 

 

 

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Dustin Putman's Review - Waitress (2007) - [TheMovieBoy]

Dustin Putman's Review - Waitress (2007) - [TheMovieBoy] | Waitress Screen Studies | Scoop.it
Chris Popp's insight:

This is another review that goes more in depth on some of the characters and their performances. It proved useful by making a comparison to another movie that Jennifer Anniston starred in, and was a lead role just as Keri Russell was.

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Movie Review - Waitress - www.ericdsnider.com - The Official Website of Eric D. Snider

Waitress, a movie review by Eric D. Snider.
Chris Popp's insight:

This review proved to be useful in my article because it highlighted the different characters and thier roles in the movie. It also pointed out how each character was their own.

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Waitress

Waitress | Waitress Screen Studies | Scoop.it
Sweet, smart, and quirky, Waitress hits the right, bittersweet notes through this romantic comedy through its witty script and a superb performance by Keri Russell.
Chris Popp's insight:

This source is useful because it gives a brief description of the movie and gives a few details, such as; the date it was released in theatres, dvd, and how much money the film made

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Adrienne Shelly, Waitress, Sundance - Film - New York Times

Adrienne Shelly, Waitress, Sundance - Film - New York Times | Waitress Screen Studies | Scoop.it
All films arrive at Sundance with a back story, but none have the poignancy of “Waitress,” which was written and directed by Adrienne Shelly.
Chris Popp's insight:

This New York Times article gave me some more insight on Adrienne Shelly and how much work and emotion she put into this film. I was also informed that she advocated woman being on camera and behind the camera as well as directors and producers of films. 

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The unbelievable truth

The unbelievable truth | Waitress Screen Studies | Scoop.it
New York indie star Adrienne Shelly had everything to live for: her husband, young daughter, and a brilliant movie she'd just directed and starred in. Why, then, would she hang herself in her shower? In fact, she was murdered.
Chris Popp's insight:

This article proved useful as it informed me more about who the director was and the unfortunate way that she died. It gave me insight on how intelligent of a writer others thought she was and that reaffirmed my stance on her writing.

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