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Waitress is a cult classic film from the year 2007 that was the inspiration for the hit Broadway show Waitress The Musical, which debuted in August of 2015. It’s a film that deals with an immoral subject matter, but it still makes you root for it. The movie stars Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion. It follows the story of small-town waitress Jenna Hunterson, who makes delicious pies. Of course, there needs to be a downer. She’s stuck in a loveless marriage. She wishes to run away and start fresh by winning a pie-making contest where the prize is $25,000. Her plans and her world are turned upside down when she discovers she is pregnant.


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Accepting the situation, she decides to keep the baby and still plans to run away even if her child will complicate her plans a bit. She goes to her doctor’s appointment, where she meets the gorgeous Dr. Jim Pomatter, a married man, played by Nathan Fillion, and let us cut to the chase: they begin an affair.

Cheating is never okay; let’s make that clear.

For Jenna, being with Dr. Pomatter helps her heal her wounds, and she finally feels loved after being in an unhealthy marriage for so long. They manage to keep their involvement hidden from everyone in the small town, and Jenna expresses her feelings by making pies inspired by her now complicated life. My favorite one was the “Naughty Apple Pie.” The thing is, despite knowing that cheating is not okay, you find yourself rooting for the couple. I think it had to do with them showing what a horrible person Earl, her husband, was. Jenna sometimes accepts that she was an awful person too. She questions capacity as a mother: how her behavior was unacceptable, especially in her role as an upbringing. In a sad scene, she questions how she can take care of a child when she could barely take care of herself. They try multiple times to end the affair, but their attraction to each other always won.

While we know Jenna’s situation and motives to begin the affair, in my opinion, Dr. Pomatter’s motives were not as clear. I’ve always hoped he did it because he was also stuck and unhappy, and it wasn’t merely because he was a jerk and wanted to sleep with other women.


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The musical inspired by this film is worth the listen, and it will pull at your heartstrings more than the film. Sara Bareilles wrote the music. Jessie Mueller originated the role of Jenna, and Drew Gehling originated the role of Dr. Pomatter. I saw the movie after listening to the Original Broadway Cast Recording, and I could point out where each song of the show would go. I highly recommend listening to the soundtrack first and then watching the film since it’s a more wholesome experience; it comes full circle.

It’s a fairly simple film, nothing extraordinary. It’s short, sweet, and just what you need to distract yourself and make you doubt your moral compass. It’s filled with clichés, and it probably doesn’t show the most healthy relationships, but we need to see the different aspects of love and not just the ones that are  considered “healthy and normal.” When the film concluded, I found myself asking: if  I was in Jenna’s position, would I have done the same? And, to this day, I still don’t have an answer.

Gabriela is currently an English Major at the University of Puerto Rico. When she isn't reading fantasy books, she can be found writing them. She is a Vegetarian Hufflepuff that loves zombie fiction, an irony in itself. An aspiring filmmaker, she one day dreams of winning an Oscar for her films.
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