Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Saw two movies over the weekend. One was "Waitress," a sweet, well-done story of a young wife with an abusive husband and a talent for making pies who discovers forlornly that she is pregnant but, by the end, she has reversed her life and welcomed her beloved daughter into the world. The other was "Waitress," an unforgettable love letter from a mother, who wrote, directed, and co-starred in the movie just before being murdered by a construction worker she argued with over his noise downstairs, to her just-born daughter, who is star Keri Russell's daughter in the final shots. The first might make you think of "Alice," with the acerbic cook and two loved girlfriends and the not-to-be romance with an off-limits guy, but "Alice" wishes she were "Waitress." The second is one of the saddest movies I've ever seen, knowing that Adrienne Shelly had written it while pregnant and intended it in part to show her daughter her thoughts and growing love but that, instead, it will stand as the most perfect, most tragic legacy of pure love that a mother can leave a daughter. As I watched the final scenes, I couldn't help but wonder at what age the girl's father will let her see this movie. Is he already? At what age will the girl shift from a vague understanding that this movie has her dead mother in it to a realization that she was the intended audience for this emphatic "I love you so much" from a woman she will never know? How will that girl respond? Being a man, of course, I didn't cry. But I didn't talk much during the walk from the theater to our car. It was truly a unique experience, watching one movie that was really two, enjoying them each, recommending the first, never forgetting the second.

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