Films for Foodies: Waitress
Movie studios scramble to have big-name stars headline their films, but in many of my favorite movies, food is the star. Few things are better than pairing a foodie film with a great meal so we can enjoy ourselves just as much as the folks onscreen are enjoying their own aliments. In this series, we'll highlight a movie in which food plays a leading role and suggest one or more local spots to provide an accompanying feast for you. Pull up a table and dim the lights, the show's about to begin.
Film still from Waitress Feeling blue? Make some pie!
Waitress was originally an independent film shown at Sundance, but it was so well received that Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired the rights and distributed it across the country. So if you've seen it, thank Fox.
The story takes place in a small town in the Deep South, where Jenna (Keri Russell) is a waitress at Joe's Pie Diner, owned by the gruff and curmudgeonly Joe (Andy Griffith). At Joe's, Jenna gets to flex her creative muscle by inventing unique pies, often inspired by her life, like the "I Hate My Husband" pie, because, well, she does.
Jenna is trapped in a loveless marriage with the controlling jerk Earl (Jeremy Sisto). When she finds out she's pregnant, she decides to try even harder to break away from her husband and get out of town. She thinks pies might be her salvation.
Photo from Waitress
She begins seeing her prenatal physician, Jim Pomatter (Nathan Fillion), who has just moved to town with his wife, a resident at the local hospital. After several appointments, the two begin an affair, and Jenna worries alternately about ruining Jim's marriage, being killed by her own husband for cheating on him, and her impending motherhood.
Go directly to page two to avoid spoilers.
At the hospital before the baby is born, Jenna runs into Joe, who is there for an operation. He gives her a card, but she's too preoccupied to open it. While she's in labor, her doctor's wife comes in to check on her, and Jenna can tell by the way she looks at Dr. Pommater that the two are truly in love.
Once Jenna has her baby, a girl she names Lulu, her husband grows suspicious that she loves the baby more than she loves him. Feeling a renewed strength, she informs him that she hasn't loved him in a long time, and that she wants a divorce. Earl is escorted out of the room.
Later, while preparing to leave the hospital, Jenna remembers the card Joe gave her. She opens it, and finds a check for more than $200,000 and a note encouraging her to start a new life. Jenna's coworkers then tell her that Joe is in a coma and has left the pie shop to her.
On her way out of the hospital, she runs into Dr. Pommater and ends things with him because she knows he has a good life with his wife. The movie then skips ahead several years, and we see Jenna and her daughter making pies then closing up Lulu's Pie Shop for the evening and heading home.