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Waitress

I’ve always had the old adage, “write what you know” stuffed into my face. Or, those grating people who say “Ooh, do I have a story for you!” Of course, the stories are rarely all that fantastic and never match up with my own personal vision. Which brings to one of the reasons why I love writing: Everyone has a story. Everyone. It’s all in the matter of telling , getting it out.

The 2007 movie Waitress is one of those little, quiet, personal stories. The movie focuses on unhappily married, pregnant waitress, master pie baker Jenna. For many months now she’s been quietly planning her escape from her smothering husband…until she discovers the unplanned pregnancy.

Sounds like every little misguided and sad woman, doesn’t it? Well, the writer and director, Adrienne Shelley (who was unfortunately murdered before her movie premiered), made sure it wasn’t. The little nuances (the song Jenna’s mother sang to her, her unlikely friendship with the owner of the diner, played by Andy Griffith, the little, extremely personal letters she wrote to her developing baby) created something so real, so credible, it might as well have been nonfiction.

In a way, it was. Just as one of the archetypal characters is “everyman” Jenna is everywoman. She embodies the hope for a better life, a good life, we all strive for, the ever illusive American Dream. She represents that, yes, there is still a gender gap, whether we all want to admit it or not. And it was all done without being preachy. There was no soap box. Only the journey of a young woman in search of something better.

No, Waitress isn’t a masterpiece, but it is a quiet, beautiful, fun little movie. I highly recommend it to all who want to send a cold afternoon in with a warm story. While your at it, think about your own story. It doesn’t have to reflect your life’s events. But I truly believe that all fiction holds within some aspect of the author’s truth.

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