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Waitress (2007)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 170
Fresh: 151 | Rotten: 19

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.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 3

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.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 409,497

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Movie Info

A woman trapped in a life from which she dreams of escape, Jenna's secretly hopes to save enough money from her waitressing job to leave her overbearing and controlling husband. She is a sharp, sassy woman with a gift for making unusual pies whose recipes are inspired by the trials, tribulations and circumstances of her life. An unwanted pregnancy changes the course of events giving her an unexpected confidence via letters to her unborn baby.


Drama, Romance, Comedy

Adrienne Shelly

Nov 27, 2007


Fox Searchlight Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (170) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (151) | Rotten (19) | DVD (16)

Shelly deftly achieves a tone pitched between fantasy and reality, its levity belying an astute and humane study of an unhappy relationship steeped in inertia.

February 10, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funny, gentle, unpatronising, if occasionally naive and quirky.

November 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is hardly flawless - even the pie-baking scenes sometimes seem half-baked - but it's hard not to read promise into every frame, and to wonder what Shelly might have cooked up in the future.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Waitress is not a perfectly cut, factory-line Safeway-brand slice. It does, though, serve up a generous deep-dish portion, homemade and heartfelt, that leaves a sweet taste goes down.

November 28, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shelly's film (regrettably her last) may be a fine folly for foodies. But as a fable of female empowerment, it seriously lacks flavor.

June 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This bittersweet romantic farce teeters and then tips into precious, a forgivable sin once you know this sweet movie's sad history.

May 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Essentially a king-size serving of sitcom

November 17, 2011
Time Out Chicago

Adrienne Shelly's lasting legacy is this exquisite, engaging film about slices of life, Keri Russell's luminosity, an unhurried narrative, Andy Griffith's codger delighting in schadenfreude and even Jeremy Sisto making his abhorrent character relatable.

November 22, 2010 Full Review Source:

Allergic as I am to quirkiness, I was won over

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

... Fillion offers up an endlessly charismatic performance...

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Adrienne Shelly's last piece has all the right ingredients.

August 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

full of whiney characters that eventually make the right decisions only after an unprecedented amount of hand-wringing

August 17, 2008 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

It's a love letter of the first degree, the kind that rises out of trepidation and confusion, almost by accident, with a sudden force of absolute clarity.

June 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Waitress is a beautiful and poignant swan song for what should have been the vanguard of a blossoming career.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs Gazette

Keri Russell sparkles in this story about a piemaker who longs for something more filling.

February 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Waitress combines quirky humour with an added and enhanced sense of emotional truth.

January 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Completely inauthentic in every detail--the cinematic equivalent of an apple pie from Perkins.

December 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Snobs
Film Snobs

Despite Shelly's twist of disturbing fate, WAITRESS will be a memorialized nod of a little gem of a film that delivered a slice of pie to our hungry, entertaining expectations

December 6, 2007 Full Review
Movie Eye

I dare you to sit through Waitress and not fall for Russell.Her face is open like a baby's and sculpted like a goddess'.

December 6, 2007 Full Review Source:

It's a small movie set in a small town, and features actors who were most famous for parts on the small screen. And it also just happens to be one of the more entertaining movies of the year.

December 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Nothing can distract from the inherent joy of experiencing this undeniably tasty creation.

November 29, 2007 Full Review Source:

Its almost-bedtime-story delivery heightens its design as a parable about finding focus and clarity after enduring much chaos and wading through the mud.

November 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Audience Reviews for Waitress

A bittersweet film but smartly done. Worth watching.
June 17, 2014

Super Reviewer

Waitress is a charming, gentle, often dark yet extremely quirky comedy. It feels even darker since the subsequent murder of its writer/director/supporting actor Adrienne Shelley who didn't live to see the film's release. Anchored with a lovely, subtle sad eyed performance by the beautiful Keri Russell and a cast of terrific comedic prodigy actors, including the great Andy Griffith in his last film appearance as the crusty diner owner. It's a singular, meaningful and poetic comedy, despite its light touch and tone.

It's the apparently simple story of Jenna, small town southern waitress, with a god given talent for creating original and delicious pies. Stuck in a horrible marriage with an idiot husband, Jenna's saving money so she can bolt - until she finds out she's pregnant. She falls into a hopeless intense affair with a married young doctor, played with customary charm and intelligence by TV's own Cary Grant, Nathan Fillion. That's about the whole story, the stakes keep getting raised higher as the doctor and the waitress carry on an increasingly steamy affair just as her belly gets bigger and her husband gets more demanding and abusive.

The pies are a terrific touch, because the recipes are thematically related to the beats of the story (i.e. I hate my husband pie, crushed lumpy oatmeal and sour cherries, etc.). The making of the pies is shot gorgeously and, amazingly this device never gets tired.

I forced myself to watch this, because on paper, it looks like a cliched, gratuitously offbeat comedy full of faux folksiness and bad southern accents. It's far better than that. Director Shelley and Cheryl Hines play her fellow waitresses with verve and spunk, and Jeremy Sisto as the abusive husband may be stupid, but he's an identifiable human being, not a cliched villain, who evokes our empathy, even as we are rooting for Jenna to get the hell out of the marriage.

On the DVD extras, the cast all rhapsodize about Shelley's having such a clear vision of what she wanted and how she was a control freak for every aspect of this production. That is palpably true, and it's a tragedy that she didn't get to make more films. See this one, you'll be happy.
April 6, 2013
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer

Our world needs a few feel-good movies, and 'Waitress' fits the bill. Earl (why are Southern bad guys always called Earl?) needs to be taught a lesson, and Jenna finds a way to accomplish that.
July 16, 2012

Super Reviewer

Well seems I'm the only person who didn't like this?! I thought it was a Rom-Com but it's more of a Rom-Drama. Quite weird and quirky, I just found it painfully slow, long and a bit boring. The 2nd half isn't too bad but the film didn't need any where near the run time. I would say it's most like The good girl with Jennifer Aniston but I enjoyed that more than this.
November 26, 2011

Super Reviewer

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