Waitress

Critics Consensus

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.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 172

74%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 410,292

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

74%
Average Rating: 3.4/5

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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.

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Cast

Nathan Fillion
as Dr. Pomatter
Darby Stanchfield
as Francine Pomatter
Heidi Sulzman
as Exhausted Mother
Hunter King
as Obnoxious Toddler
Lauri Johnson
as Nurse Norma
Sarah Hunley
as Dr. Lily Mueller
Sophie Ostroy
as Toddler Lulu
Eleya Avery-Ault
as Toddler in Diner
Jesse Schneider
as Toddler in Diner
Zoe Schneider
as Toddler in Diner
Christy Taylor
as Pregnant Woman
Jennifer Walsh
as Pregnant Woman
MacKenzie King
as Flower Girl
Andy Ostroy
as Cake Man
Hailey Parker
as Newborn Lulu
Riley Stefanelli
as Newborn Lulu
Henry Arthur Smith
as Toddler in Diner
Cindy Drummond
as Hospital Nurse
Nathan Dean
as Minister
Caroline Fogarty
as Doctor's Assistant
Kira Grace
as Three-Month-Old Lulu
Elaine Levine
as Pie-Contest Woman No.1
Doreen Powell
as Pie-Contest Woman No.2
Bella Stromel
as Newborn Lulu
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Critic Reviews for Waitress

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (45)

  • 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.

    Feb 10, 2014 | Full Review…

    Shauna Lyon

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • Funny, gentle, unpatronising, if occasionally naive and quirky.

    Nov 18, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top 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.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Bob Mondello

    NPR.org
    Top 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.

    Nov 28, 2007 | Full Review…

    Mark Bourne

    Film.com
    Top Critic
  • The sunniness of its tone is so disarming that it keeps you onside no matter what.

    Oct 26, 2007 | Full Review…
  • You've heard of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This is My Big Thin White Abusive Marriage.

    Aug 10, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Waitress

½

A bittersweet film but smartly done. Worth watching.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Josh Morris
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.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Dean King
Dean King

Super Reviewer

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