Studio: Fox Searchlight
Release Date: 2007-05-24
Cast: Keri Russell, Jeremy Sisto
Director: Adrienne Shelly
Our Rating: 2.50
A pregnant waitress and expert pie artist (Keri Russell) at a local dessert shop fantasizes about future pie concoctions while fleeing her repulsive husband (a terrific Jeremy Sisto), having a fling with her doctor and engaging in artificially witty conversations with her co-workers. In the pantheon of forced quirk, no American indie tried as hard to be different as Garden State, but Waitress is surely in the same ballpark. Writer-director Adrienne Shelly, a protégé of indie cult-god Hal Hartley, directed her similarly out-of-left-field dialogue with a similar rhythmic rapidity, but while Hartley uses the arch style for philosophical inquiry, Shelly settled for easy cuteness. Besides, the movie's offbeat exchanges merely give street-cred to an otherwise straightforward story ' of a woman's self-actualization and escape from an abusive husband ' that's too saccharine to be feminist. Sweet and forgettable, Waitress has a few moments of inspired hilarity, but the never-ending codas, dewy music-video montages and unnecessary presence of a curmudgeonly Andy Griffith make this posthumous release from the late Shelley hardly a fulfilling swan song.