Monday, May 14, 2007

The Story Behind Waitress, Adrienne Shelly's Last Film

The comic drama Waitress is getting great reviews, and, so far, it looks like one of the few summer movies aimed at an audience of viewers too old to worry about which teacher they'll get for algebra this fall.

The film comes with a sad backstory, though. Its director, Adrienne Shelly, who also plays one of three small-town waitresses in the film (along with Keri Russell and Cheryl Hines), was brutally murdered in New York just before its premiere at Sundance.

In the photo, above, Shelly is in the center.

"Part feminist fable, part romantic fairy tale, it is by turns tart and sweet, charming and tough," according to the New York Times.

Writes Peter Travers, in Rolling Stone: "This sweetheart of a comedy boasts a hilarious and heartfelt performance by Keri Russell as Jenna, a small-town waitress who gets pregnant by her abusive husband, Earl (Jeremy Sisto), and expresses her feelings through pastry, like her Pregnant-Miserable-Self-Pitying-Loser pie."

Will Waitress live up to the hype? I'll find out for myself on Thursday, when I catch the screening.

For the entire story, and information on the efforts of Shelly's husband to establish a scholarship foundation in his wife's name, check out the Reuters story.

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