Friday, November 23, 2007

Waitress DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Murdered Director’s Tour de Force Arrives on DVD Posthumously

Adrienne Shelly’s promising career was cut short on November 1, 2006, when she was robbed and hung in her Manhattan apartment by an illegal immigrant who later confessed to committing the murder. At the time of her death, she had recently completed Waitress, an engaging ensemble dramedy which she had not only written and directed, but had co-starred in as well.
The film focuses on the divergent fortunes of a trio of twangy-accented waitresses working at Joe’s Pie Diner, which appears to be the social hub of their tiny, close-knit community. The picture’s primary plot revolves around Jenna (Keri Russell), a pregnant piemaker, who’s hopelessly stuck in a bad marriage to an abusive jerk (Jeremy Sisto).
Desperate for a way out of her dire predicament, she decides to enter a pie cooking contest with a $25,000 grand prize. If she wins, she plans to use the money to leave her husband. She simultaneously embarks on an ill-advised affair with the town’s newly-arrived gynecologist, the dashing and debonair, but also-married Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion).
Meanwhile, both of Jenna’s confidantes and colleagues, ballsy Becky (Cheryl Hines) and nerdy wallflower Dawn (Shelly), have their own emotional baggage to unload, but nothing quite as self-destructive. The counter girls’ dysfunction doesn’t escape the observant eye of their elderly boss, Joe (Andy Griffith), a sage old soul able to size up a situation without much information.
Equal parts comedy and drama, Waitress is a warts-and-all tale of female empowerment featuring adult-oriented humor as sophisticated as the mature themes it tackles. Posthumous kudos are in order for Ms. Shelly for figuring a way to present her trio of flawed heroines so empathetically, given their behaviors’ crossing over into the outrageous and the unsavory.
It’s just a shame that this multi-talented woman with so much potential who dreamt it all up was taken from us before her time.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, profanity and mature themes.
Running time: 108 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Audio commentaries by the producer and by co-star Keri Russell, a documentary about Adrienne Shelly, a message about the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, plus several other featurettes.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your comments but I couldn't help but notice how you mentioned the residency status of the perpetrator of such crime which in lieu of your role as a communicator and critic of movies, makes you look like trying to make a political statement. I respect your right to express your comments but there are definitely other venues for that and using this space for such callous comment just makes you look like a bigot.

Charleen Larson said...

Roger Ebert makes political commentaries all the time. I assume you've lectured him as well on the impropriety of doing so? Because if you haven't that would make you a hypocrite.

I saw the "illegal" comment in the context of "This death didn't have to happen." As indeed, it didn't.

Josh Medici said...

I think the legal status of the murderer was not the issue. Indeed, I might've been overly sensitive on the issue back in '08. Still, I do believe I do not need to lecture anyone, nor the critic here or anywhere for that matter.

I stand corrected, it was as much a valid point as anything.