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I should clarify that, despite this post’s title, I enjoyed Waitress. It’s a cute film with a lot of sweetness and some funny moments. But it reminded me a lot of Juno – and not just because they’re both about accidental pregnancies – but the comparison is not favorable. Both are very quirky with a lot of clever, pithy dialogue. The characters are somewhat idiosyncratic and both films use cute gimmicks (the track team in Juno, Jenna’s pie fantasies in Waitress). With so much quirkiness, a film must walk a tight line to avoid becoming too enamored with its own cleverness. Juno absolutely nails it; Waitress does not. And it’s hard to explain why. I guess in Juno there’s a sincerity in the way Ellen Page and her cohorts deliver their lines, even the most hipster and ironic lines. There’s a depth to the characters that’s subtle. In Waitress the actors seem like vessels for self-consciously clever dialogue.
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