I’m cheating slightly, this won’t quite be a review of the film Waitress, more of a “this is why this film is important” post.

Shall I explain more? Read on…

If you haven’t heard, Waitress is a film from 2007, written by Adrienne Shelly. It’s an American comedy drama, that tells the story of a young woman, Jenna (played by Keri Russell), who’s living in Southern America as a waitress at a pie shop, creating amazing pies. But aside from the work, which she adores, she has fell pregnant by her husband, Earl (Jeremy Sisto), who she doesn’t even like – let alone love. She’s keen for a new start, but with a baby on the way it begs the question will she ever be free and happy?

In more recent times, you may have instead heard the title as the Broadway Musical adaptation which has been causing a stir (no pun intended!) since it opened earlier this year. The music and lyrics of which have been penned by pop star Sara Bareilles. In fact, this is actually how I stumbled across it – I’d heard good things about the soundtrack, so I listened to it and became hooked.

Seeing as I’m the opposite side of the world and not blessed in the way of being rich, I currently can’t see the show, so I decided to catch up on the film to at least get a better grip of the story. Here’s why you should be watching the film too…

  1. It shows domestic abuse – Not in an overly violent way, but not in a sugar-coated way either. Jenna is unfortunately married to a man who is controlling, obsessive and abusive. She is plotting and saving in secret to runaway, however he does everything he can to stop her; and she openly mentions how he changed when they married. And from my basic understanding I personally think it’s showcased well and honestly, and I can’t think of many other films that I’ve seen that cover this topic. In turn, there’s also elements of stalking, which is another serious and important issue, that is rarely touched on; and it’s done in two interesting ways in this film. And I’m sure there’s more too, but I don’t want to give everything away, and I want it to be down to your interpretations too.
  2. Chasing dreams – Jenna is a strong and determined woman, who knows what she wants. She strays sometimes, but not often through any fault of her own. I always have great admiration for characters like this. She works hard to get what she wants.
  3. Great friends – Not only is Jenna a wonderful character, she has two loyal friends in the form of her co-workers Becky (Cheryl Hines) and Dawn (Adrienne Shelly). I really enjoyed how their friendship works, and they were all great characters. (PS, as earlier mentioned Adrienne Shelly also wrote it, and this was her final film before her death).
  4. Cleverly showcased – When you think voiceover films, you think nothing can top the way it’s done in Bridget Jones’ Diary, right? Wrong. This uses a similar style, with her talking through her thoughts and diary entries and it really adds an extra layer to the film, that gives you full understanding of the character.
  5. Happy ending! – As you’d hope in films like this, she does get a happy ending. Though it was slightly different to how I thought it might be. I can’t say too much, without giving it all away, but it left me feeling uplifted and empowered, and I just felt her story was definitely one worth hearing.
  6. Highly underrated – Another one of those brilliant indie films, that gets lost among all the blockbusters. I’m so grateful that it moved from one art form to another (film to musical), as it gets the story shared with a whole new audience. And it always seems to be those stories that cover the real issues, hence why I love to support independent films.

Overall, I really recommend this film. I just now pray that Waitress heads over to the West End soon, or that I get rich so I can head to Broadway, as I can only imagine how equally wonderful it is on stage! ★★★★

Have you seen the film or musical? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comments always welcome…