27 December 2007


Ok, so this movie has been cropping up on quite a few Best of 2007 lists, so let me take a minute to explain to you why I _hated_ this movie. I've been a slacker this year in terms of writing reviews, and its times like this when I'm annoyed with myself about it, because goddamnit, people need to hear the truth. I've got a good long rant about that racist piece of shit Darjeeling, Limited, too, that's long overdue. Anyhow, Waitress.

First off, the whole food movie thing is old news. It's been done, and way better, plenty of times. So stop going all gaga about the delightful originality of the pie thing. Go rent Like Water for Chocolate, or Eat Drink Man Woman, or even that ridiculous Penelope Cruz movie, Woman on Top if you wanna see this trope used properly. Not to mention, I dunno if it's the way its filmed or what, but those pies just don't look appealing. If you're banking on food to carry some kind of nonverbal meaning, make it look delicious. I had no desire to eat any of those pies. But that might also be because I'm really not a pie person. Perhaps pie is a deep part of the American psyche in ways that I can't understand, and whatever godawful concoction she creates actually speaks volumes to your average viewer, but watching green goop getting slopped into a pie crust does not convey some kind of deeper metaphor about heartbreak to me. Hmph.

Moving on, my major beef with this movie was that I had no sympathy for any of the characters. They were all petty, mean-spirited, self-centered people who, so far as I could ascertain, had gotten themselves into messes and weren't doing a whole hell of a lot to improve their situations other than to complain and feel sorry for themselves. Take the main character and her awful husband, for instance. Ok, so indeed, her husband was pretty atrocious. But first off, she married the guy. Why? Did he suddenly change after the nuptuals? What happened? Secondly, the dude is nothing if not communicative. His main beef is that his wife doesn't give a shit about him - a complaint he is perfectly entitled to, because she doesn't. She gets really annoyed when he is hurt because she hasn't asked him how his day went, and I suppose we as viewers are supposed to agree with her, but personally, I felt bad for the guy. Yes, he's a jerk. But she never makes any kind of effort to tell him what he's doing wrong. And it honestly seem like he'd be kind of receptive to a bit of constructive criticism. So sure, he's awful for basically trying to imprison her, but at the same time, you can kind of see where he's coming from.

Really, from what I recall, pretty much all of the characters were these awful, insincere two-faced jerks who were pretty much horrible to everyone around them, even the people they ostensibly cared about. The love affair between the main character and the doctor also infuriated me, in that it was simply a continuation of the selfishness that characterized everyone in the entire movie. So I wasn't exactly cheering for things to work out from them, nor was I sympathetic to the plight of the good doctor who was fooling around on his lovely wife.

I walked out of the film depressed and enraged, both at the people in the movie, and at the movie itself for making me depressed, though I'm sure it wasn't really intending to do so, which pissed me off even more. Because what's worst is, I'm sure that plenty of people in this world are just like the people in that movie. And probably, most of the people watching the movie don't even see what terrible, terrible people these characters are. The film itself seems completely unaware of it - unlike movies like, say, The Squid and the Whale, where the characters are jerks, but the film seems somehow aware of this and the consequences of it - no, here, I'm pretty sure you're just meant to care about Keri Russell and her unborn child, and hope things work out well for her. The final straw, for me, was when that selfish bitch made bank because of the kindness of an old man whom she didn't even bother to visit in the fucking hospital. Gah!

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