Saturday, June 30, 2007

Waitress (2007, Adrienne Shelly)

Might have been a 6 had I not just seen a better exploration of a troubled marriage- that'd be KNOCKED UP, folks- earlier today. The simplistic brushstrokes with which Shelley paints the marriage between Russell and blue-collar meathead Jeremy Sisto takes quite a bit of the fun out of this. When he protested her pregnancy by saying "I'm afraid you'll end up loving the baby more than me" I was sort of tempted to give up on this. Glad I didn't since the rest is pretty beguiling. The stuff in the diner is fun on the level of a good sitcom and the affair between Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion (both very good) has an off-kilter sweetness. But it's Shelley who steals her own movie as Russell's mousy coworker, Dawn, hiding under lank hair, butterfly specs, and an eternally-worried expression. The joy that overtakes her once she has fallen in love is really a touching sight, and it's a damn shame she didn't live to see the film's release. Two final thoughts: (1) the Fillion-is-the-new-Harrison-Ford hype is totally warranted, although Fillion's even better with the romantic stuff; and (2) I'm not usually one for movie tie-ins, but I'd be seriously tempted to buy a WAITRESS recipe book. Rating: 5 out of 10.

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