Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Waitress Movie Poster Image
Indie tackles tough topics but is as sweet as pie.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 104 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Sends the message that it's never too late to start fresh, even when you think you're stuck in an awful situation. Jenna realizes that adultery may feel right, but it's still wrong.


A few upsetting scenes of domestic abuse: Earl pushes, shoves, and grabs Jenna. In one scene he strikes her in the face and then immediately begs for forgiveness.


Jenna and her doctor kiss passionately and have an affair, but the sex is fully clothed and very discreet. Earl and Jenna have a humorously short sex scene in which viewers hear his loud orgasm. Another two characters -- both married -- are caught kissing.


Minor: many utterances of "damn," and otherwise the occasional "ass" and "bitch." Lots of name-calling ("stupid," "crazy little freak," "ape," "psycho," etc.).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the waitresses smokes a cigarette in several scenes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this quirky indie dramedy is ultimately heartwarming, it tackles very mature themes like spousal abuse (emotional and physical), loneliness, infidelity, and unhappiness. Protagonist Jenna's husband Earl constantly ridicules and demeans her, treating her like a possession. In one scene, he hits her in the face; other times he grabs and pushes her. Two different sets of couples commit adultery, but in one case the characters decide to part ways. In the end, the movie is very sweet and ends up being about a woman's immediate, undeniable love for her baby.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGearMaven April 9, 2008

Sad social commentary!

I wanted to love this movie, but I was so turned off by, first, a women putting up with abuse and not leaving immediately; second, infidelity accepted as normal... Continue reading
Adult Written byfangjkf April 9, 2008

It's a chick movie 100% but I still loved it!

I'd buy it to keep. Okay, I will. I can't believe this movie is not filling up the theaters, while the big-3 sequels that are puffed up with overblow... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byHelen1511 June 19, 2019

15+, are you kidding!

This movie is terrific and moving and ends on a note you can't complain about. Defiantly mature themes, maybe watch with your kids, but everything is resol... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCyonnara December 14, 2010
Has a great story with an amazing cast. Adrienne Shelly did such a good job with the script and made a very smooth blend of comedy, romance and drama. This movi... Continue reading

What's the story?

Keri Russell stars as Jenna, a waitress at a small-town diner best known for serving Jenna's creatively concocted and cleverly named confections (Bad Baby pie, Falling in Love pie, and Naughty Pumpkin pie, just to name a few). Jenna has just discovered that she's pregnant with her abusive husband Earl's (Jeremy Sisto) baby, which means she's tied to him for good. Through her pregnancy, she finds unexpected romance and realizes that instead of a burden, her baby is a chance for a fresh start.

Is it any good?

WAITRESS is Adrienne Shelly's only film as a director; the 40-year-old indie-film veteran was murdered in November 2006, and knowing that makes her lovely little picture all the more touching. As with her delectable pies, if Jenna can start from scratch, she'll create something beautiful. It's such a shame that after all of her hard work making her directorial debut, Shelly didn't live to see the sweet desserts of her efforts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about starting from scratch, building self esteem, and staying loyal to friends. Why do you think Jenna stayed with Earl, even though he was a horrible husband? How should you deal with abuse if you encounter it in your own life? Families can also talk about the fact that Jenna says that her doctor is the first person who ever listened to her and cared what she had to say. Teens: Who really listens to you? And, on a lighter note: Which of Jenna's elaborate pie names is your favorite, and which one did you want to try?

Movie details

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