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Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog

(OR EL DUDERINO IF YOU'RE NOT INTO THE WHOLE BREVITY THING)

-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Brief Movie Review: Waitress

I got the chance to see Waitress last week as a preview screening, but I didn't have the chance to post about it until now, after it has already opened. Anyway, a brief review.

VERY MINOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW

A good, solid, small film. This movie will not change the world, nor may it even be remembered strongly in some time, but it is definitely an enjoyable and effective film.

Especially, I liked the way it worked quite well as a true dramedy; the comedy was really funny, and the dramatic elements were realistic, sad, moving and touching. The acting was good, and it was really wonderful to see Andy Griffith up there! Jeremy Sisto was quite good (and scary) as the husband, and Keri Russell did a solid job in her role. I've never been a huge Nathan Fillion fan (I expect to hear it from some of you Joss-heads out there), but I thought he did a good job as well, in an understated and genuine performance.

But what I think was best about the film was what can also be most instructive to us as writers. Complexity. Just as the comedic and dramatic aspects blended nicely to make a realistic portrayal of life (the true draw of a dramedy), other aspects were equally complex. When we find characters cheating on their spouses, it is not a clear, black and white "this is wrong." We learn to see multiple sides of the issue. The characters are also complex and well-written. Griffith's character is well-written in a fun way, and Sisto's character is interesting where he could have easily become a caricature. Russell's character isn't entirely complex, but definitely unique in a number of ways.

So bottom line, go see Waitress. It is fun and entertaining, and you might learn a thing or two about screenwriting in the process.

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