Keri Russell had a certain low-key, empathetic quality as the sensitive coed on the WB series Felicity, but nothing about that whispery, earnest role indicated she could carry a movie herself, especially as a different character altogether. In Waitress she plays Jenna, an unhappily married young woman who channels her frustrations into the creation of fantastic pies, and taps a reservoir of star quality; it takes considerable charisma for an actress to likably cuss out her unborn child (she doesn't fantasize about a son or a daughter; she writes the child letters that start with "dear baby").
The film, written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, opens with Jenna discovering this pregnancy, and despairing over the fact that it ties her to her surly, controlling husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto). She dreams of escape plans, squirreling away tip money from her titular job and soliciting advice from her two friends and co-workers, while peevishly and secretly attending doctor's appointments with Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion). In the back of her mind, Jenna seems to know that keeping secrets and extra cash may not be enough; her escape is attempted through a series of half-measures.
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