Movie Musing: Waitress

December 22, 2007 — Leave a comment

Keri Russell in WaitressI must admit that I don’t watch a lot of movies. However, when I do, I frequently find myself captivated by how contemplative I can be afterwards. Tonight was one of those times.

My wife and I rented the movie Waitress (Fox Searchlight, 2007) and enjoyed a quiet evening at home. While it’s not a film I would heartily recommend as a must-see (PG-13 primarily for sex and language), it is one that made me think a good bit. . . not bad for a movie that I’d pretty easily describe as cheesy. The real critics use the word folksy. . . guess that’s more appealing.

Despite its lack of cinematography, the flick did connect pretty well to real life. I see some of its themes every day through my work and ministry.

The story line reminds me how many people out there are truly miserable in their marriages. The main character, a small-town girl played by Keri Russell, is trapped in a loveless marriage with a controlling, abusive, and explosive man who seems to think only of himself.

I’m also reminded how many people in this world are truly lonely. For the three waitresses in the film, their workplace — a simple pie diner — provides about the only opportunity for meaningful relationship. One of them eventually settles for a man she is very unattracted to — because no one else has shown any interest in her. I’ve seen many people in difficult relationships for exactly that reason.

I was also struck by how there was a complete absence of anything spiritual in the film. The characters in it simple do their best to get by from day to day, with little regard for the future. Russell’s character, pregnant with an unwanted baby, was driven to seek a better life for the unborn little one. . . so I guess she wasn’t totally disconnected from her sense of future. She just felt stuck in her present. I think there are a lot of people in the world like that as well.

There are so many ways in which this simple film grabbed my attention and made me take note.

As I think of my own life tonight, I feel pretty grateful to have true love, real relationships, and a definite purpose for my life. I hope you do too.

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