The credits started to roll as the reassuring voice of Quincy Coleman came on in the final theme song of the movie, Waitress.

Waitress, starring Kerri Russell, is a dramedy about a small town waitress named, Jenna (Kerri Russell), who is stuck in a marriage to a man she loathes and inconveniently pregnant with his child. Solace is found in increasingly frantic pie-baking and also in the company of her obstetrician (Nathan Fillion), a new arrival in town who has an awkward, friendly manner that complements her own mixture of frankness and indecision. Her friendship with two co-workers at the diner where she worked provided her with a safe place to share her thoughts and feelings and the encouragement she needed to plan her escape from her husband Earl, the main source of her misery. There was a part in the film which reminded me of Suze Orman’s story. The character, Old Joe (Andy Griffith), whom Jenna waited on at the diner, gave her an opportunity for a new lease of life just before he passed away, in the form of a check for an amount she had been trying to save for her escape. The story reveals the power of friendship, motherhood and the willingness to take a chance. It is a story of a small town women who transforms her hopeless life into a hilarious and unexpected love story. A New York Times reviewer wrote of Waitress, “The story, in which resilience is rewarded, and meanness is banished, is comforting without feeling unduly sentimental, thanks to its mood of easygoing, tolerant honesty. If “Waitress” were more strenuously uplifting, it might be labeled a feel-good movie, but it isn’t that. It’s just a movie that leaves you feeling good.”

Waitress came at a time when I was pushed against the wall in my own home. Though my circumstances were quite different, the general sense of helplessness and desire for escape was just the same. Early September, just a few days before the DVD landed in my mailbox, I had felt suffocated and on impulse, shared my story in an on-line forum. It triggered a flood of response from strangers who immediately empathized with me, encouraged me and offered their help, whether it was to locate a counsellor or a lawyer. What I felt was a very grey matter, they saw as black and white. I guess when we’re caught in a situation for too long, everything seems grey. They thought I must have been a saint to have lasted this long given the circumstances. A saint, I am not but I know I have grown so accustomed to the environment that it’s simply easier to continue in it than to leave and upset all that was familiar. Jenna’s story gave me the motivation to find courage to leave a person who has become unbearable to live with and to take a chance at happiness. Escape for me looks more like how the movie ended (I shan’t tell in case you have not watched it), rather than to be found in the arms of a suave and friendly obstetrician, who was just a temporary distraction for Jenna anyway.

I found out later that writer-director-actress, Adrienne Shelly was murdered shortly before Waitress was accepted into the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Adrienne took the role of Dawn, one of Jenna’s friend from the diner.

Thank you Adrienne for a heart-warming and honest film that is lovely, touching and infused with life.

 

rk

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