Waitress, with Keri Russell

Kirk and I saw a great independent film tonight at the wonderfully historic Enzian Theatre. It's called Waitress, and it stars Keri Russell -- you know, the girl from Felicity. I know she has been in a few films since that show ended (Mission Impossible 3, The Upside of Anger, for example), but I think she and everyone else has been wondering if she was going to be pigeonholed forever as "that Felicity girl."

This is the film in which she finally succeeds in breaking that stereotype.

Waitress is a story about a young woman with a flair for baking pies. And not just baking them, but inventing new ones. Seriously, she invents a new pie every day -- it's part of her job at the diner -- and she pins them with great, creative names. Not only that, but you get to watch them being made often. It's one of the most inventive and beautiful bits about this film.

Most days this girl invents multiple new pie recipes -- she's just that talented -- and for her, it's not just a passion but something she was born to do. It opens a doorway into her most contented, calm, and satisfied self. Which is a really great thing to watch, because she's stuck in a pretty bad marriage, and you find out right away that she's now pregnant with a baby she doesn't want to bring into this life she's stuck living. But she decides to have the baby anyway.

The bright spots in this girl's life, besides all the pies, of course, are her two waitress friends at the diner (one of whom also wrote and directed the film). Collectively, they provide kicks to this movie and smart, witty dialogue. You can't help but love each of them with their quirkiness, their beautiful hearts, and their friendship and honesty with one another. Andy Griffith also shows up in a great role here, playing a crotchety old man who owns the diner. Oh, and there's also the issue of an extramarital affair. (I throw in that last part for any of you out there who might like to know ahead of time that this element shows up in the movie.)

If you have an independent theatre in your town, I highly recommend you go see this film. It's warm, it's witty, it's inventive, and it's sweet. I love the dialogue, and I especially love the humor. I love the sweet song she sings at one point in the movie about baking pies with heart in the middle, which the character learned from her own mother (and which I warn you that you'll be humming for at least 30 minutes after you leave the theatre).

Beyond all the strength the film carries on its own, I loved seeing Keri Russell star in a strong role other than that of Felicity. You believe in her character, you root for her, and you fall in love with her (and her pies!). I hope you see it and enjoy it thoroughly.