A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?