Jenna is unhappily married, squirreling away money, and hoping to win a pie-baking contest so, with the prize money, she'll have enough cash to leave her husband Earl. She finds herself pregnant, which throws her plans awry. She bakes phenomenal pies at Joe's diner, listens to old Joe's wisdom, tolerates her sour boss Cal, is friends with Dawn and Becky (her fellow waitresses), and finds a mutual attraction with the new doctor in town. As the pregnancy advances, life with Earl seems less tolerable, a way out less clear, and the affair with the doctor complicated by his marriage. What options does a waitress have? Written by
Hard to review this film under the circumstances. Adrienne Shelly's death was a body blow to me. I didn't know her apart from her work over the past 18 years, but that was enough to know that we lost someone truly important on November 1, 2006.
It's the movie that matters, and this one shows Shelly coming into her own as a director, the third time out of the gate. It's smart and funny and life-affirming, and when stacked up against "Fay Grim," the latest effort from writer-director Hal Hartley (who gave Shelly her start), there's really no contest: it's the pupil over the mentor all the way.
(Sorry, Hal, if I've offended, though I doubt that you'd mind.)
Small film, huge heart.
For the record, the Adrienne Shelly Foundation is a very good cause.
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