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October 8, 2007 | by  | in Film |
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Directed by Adrienne Shelly

Jenna (Keri Russell) is a waitress in a Southern restaurant called Joe’s Pie Diner. She is a champion pie maker and greatly adds to the diner’s appeal with her mouth-watering confections.

Unfortunately, she is married to an abusive husband named Earl (Jeremy Sisto) and finds herself pregnant to boot. Her fellow waitresses (Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelley herself) are sympathetic, as is the diner’s owner, Joe (Andy Griffith).

As abortion is not an option, Jenna schedules herself for an examination with the doctor. Much to her surprise, there is a new physician in town, taking the place of Jenna’s normal MD.

He is a wonderfully kind and thoughtful man who truly listens to Jenna’s wishes. Although he is married, he becomes smitten with Jenna and visa versa, and they begin to see each other. But, what if the young waitress’s husband or the doctor’s wife finds out? There is also a pie baking contest in the region that Jenna would love to win, but will her husband allow her to attend the bake-off?

This is a lovely and very funny movie with a big heart. The characters are very believable and show off humanity at its best and its worst. Russell is outstanding as Jenna – a lovely lady with a bevy of problems, who rises above her situation. The other actors are also quite wonderful, from Sisto’s despicable husband to Griffith’s cranky diner owner to Shelley’s shy, lovelorn waitress. The production looks gorgeous with nice costumes, beautiful Southern scenery, exquisite cinematography, and more. Yet it is the great script and marvellous direction, all by Shelley, that are the most impressive. Alas, Shelley was murdered shortly after the film was completed. What a great loss to the world. Imagine Woody Allen dying after Bananas and you can understand how much sorrow her death brings.

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