Waitress - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Waitress Reviews

Page 1 of 795
Super Reviewer
½ January 15, 2008
A bittersweet film but smartly done. Worth watching.
Super Reviewer
½ April 6, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2007
Waitress walks a very fine line between being a slice of life and a complete caricature of Middle America, but somehow, it's to the film's credit. It's a disorienting and unique movie, changing tone every few scenes and making you consistently wonder what will happen next, but I'm not convinced that this was the director's intention. One of the major plot points adds great dramatic tension, but it's plausibility is a stretch: how did such a sweet woman like Jenna (Keri Russell) wind up marrying a bastard like Earl (Jeremy Sisto)?

Sometimes this film is haunting or charming, and other times, it's community theatre bad. I enjoyed it more than I didn't, but this is a film that I can very easily see polarizing audiences.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
Quirky and silly film but Sandra Bullock is really great
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2011
"Waitress" is lovely if a bit slight. Keri Russell proves once again that she is a luminous, elegant actress and this is completely her film. This is charming and witty but ultimately light. It could have done with a bit more edge but for what it's worth, "Waitress" is still very much worth seeing.
Super Reviewer
December 10, 2009
R.I.P Adrienne
Hand on my Chest: Creative, amusing, and heartwarming are the words I thought of when the end credits were scrolling up
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2009
Keri Russell, Adrienne Shelly, Andy Griffith, Cheryl Hines, Nathon Fillion

WAITRESS is the story of one woman trapped in a life from which she dreams of escape. Jenna's (Russell) secret ambition is to save enough money from her waitressing job to leave her overbearing and controlling husband(Sisto). Jenna 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.

Loved the story. Thought the movie was funny at times and sad at moments. Really felt for Keri Russell's character Jenna. You could feel her misery through the screen. Just wanted her to turn and beat the crap out of her husband. Jeremy Sisto did great playing the abusive ass of an husband. Wanted to smack him a few times myself. =)
It was great to see Keri Russell in a leading role, and she was amazing. Loved the southern accent. Thought Andy Griffith was great. Loved his character. Just a really cute movie about not wanting to settle and wanting to break free from a relationship that is toxic. Definitely would recommend this one.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2009
Actually way way better than i thought it was going to be. Nathan Fillion was charming for a cheating husband and Keri Russel was a lot better than what I remember her from. The story is quite tragic, but not so much so that I would call it a tragedy. There are definite moments of happiness and the message is really good.
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2009
"I saw that look on a woman's face before. Her name was Annette. I made sweet sweet love to her all through the summer of 1948, and she had that look on her face all through the fall."

Adrienne Shelly's small romantic drama was a nice surprise, although I can't say that I'll ever see 'Waitress' again. Shelly plays also part in the movie as the lead characters co-worker, Dawn. Those who read this review should know that Shelly was murdered after the film was completed... A tragic event, what else is there to be said.

Keri Russell plays Jenna, an unhappy waitress who is pregnant. She works at a pie diner and makes the most unbeliavable pie's. But she wants to get out of this life and start over...

'Waitress' is funny, touching and somewhat quirky. It's not your typical rom com with dramatic elements. It's different and much more pleasing than the Hollywood productions. This movie has heart.

Why did I watch this then? You'd think that I'm not the targeted audience, for sure but its got Nathan Fillion in it! One of my favourites and surely one of the most underrated actors of our time. Watch 'Firefly' series and 'Serenity' and you'll know what I'm talking about...

Andy Griffith ('Matlock') does a nice performance as the owner, Old Joe, of the diner. His dialogue, and his character, is the funniest of the bunch. Who wouldn't love an old geezer like that?

Good acting and a surprisingly good story. That's all you need to fulfill the needs of the little optimist and romanticist in you.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2007
Steeped in misery and phenomenal character development this movie took me totally off-guard. This film is not how some would bill it-"chick flick", it is a film to be contemplated and savored from all angles. Our main character is Jenna played flawlessly by Keri Russell. This was a complete surprise to me as I had only heard of her from her "Felicity" fame. Jenna, trapped in a horrible relationship with Earl (Jeremy Sisto) seeks ways to escape both real and imagined. Her means of escapism and remaining sane is to visualize the most wonderful pies where she displaces her anger or builds upon her love depending on the circumstance. It sounds silly, but you must see this in action to truly understand it as it is amazingly effective. Sisto plays a very odd monster. Not your usual, abusive husband, but something maybe even more diabolical as he is impossible to put your finger on. Maybe a mix of Borderline Personality with Antisocial traits and a bit of psychosis to bring around the flavor. Nathan Fillion plays the love interest and he is marvelous as always, but the story and Russell are the stars. This movie will take you in within ten minutes and not let you go. It could have ended about 10 minutes earlier than it did with regards to plotline, but I still enjoy where it went and understand why. Seriously, this movie is one that everyone can watch. It appears to just be sugar on the outside, but inside it is bittersweet and as much as I enjoyed it I don't know that I could watch it again as it had so many moments of heart-wrenching anguish borne of real, palpable pain that you can feel it swelling through the screen. Taste this as soon as you can. I waited far too long. As a side note, to Ms. Shelly the Writer/Director, you will be missed and your senseless loss/murder is a tragedy all its own
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2009
Creative, amusing, and heartwarming.
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2007
The Year Most Delicious Romantic Comedy! This is so sweet, sassy comedy about the power of friendship, motherhood and second chances. Keri Russell makes a magnificent performance as a small-town waitress with big dreams.
It is the loving memorial of actress-writer-director Adrienne Shelly (1966-2006) who made an amazing filmmaking in this movie.
Super Reviewer
December 6, 2007
Waitress has a charm all on its own. The balance between comedy and drama has been accomplished without the traditional fancy one-liners but with more finesse of actual life performances, brilliantly performed by Keri Russell, an award nominating role and acting job. The drama is well played by Jeremy Sisto in an unsympathetic role and except for the ultimate direction Keri and Jeremy take in a somewhat oversimplified scripted episode, their relationship and performances are excellent. The lightness and the comedy that intersperse this small, intimate film about a wife burdened with a selfish husband and living a life as a waitress who loves to bake pies and discovers that she is pregnant is a meaningful film about facing up to one's responsibilities and dreams.
Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2007
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2008
Sweet as, well, you know...
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2007
Probably the feel-good film of the year, Adrienne Shelley's WAITRESS (her final film before her untimely demise) is sweet, charming, very funny, and (magically)manages to avoid cliche and oversentimentality. Keri Russell's oscarworthy here, in what is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2007.
Super Reviewer
May 3, 2007
Waitress is, and I speak without an ounce of bias in favor of the newly-departed Adrienne Shelly, a damn good movie. It's crushing to think that a burgeoning talent like her won't be around to produce other films like this: touching, smart and true.

Granted, it is a little green behind the ears, owing most likely to its director's inexperience. The tone is strange and it occasionally meanders a bit. But it's an inspiring anthem to anyone who has ever felt oppressed or hopeless, and a movie that is impossible to hate.
Page 1 of 795