ESP Movie Review: Waitress
It's time for a movie review from the ESP perspective. Last night, Amy and I decided to veg out with a rented movie. We picked, or perhaps I should say I was tricked into picking, a new release called Waitress. This 2007 chick flick got glowing reviews in the New York Times and other venues, so we settled in for what we were assured was a treat.
Wrong. If you plan to rent Waitress, you might want to stop reading here so I don't spoil anything for you. The movie made us angry - something that doesn't fit with the reviews at all. You see, the characters are all built from cultural stereotypes of gender. The protagonist's lousy husband is a caricature of what men are allowed to do to women in our culture - bully and control them, giving them no choices for happy lives. The protagonist is a caricature of what women are allowed to do to men - manipulate them and cut them out of the role of parent. Granted, the husband is a jerk here, but his wife is no peach in the communication department. We're supposed to cheer for the sweet heroine as she finally tells her husband the truth (that she hates him) and tells him that he can't have any role in his brand new baby's life. Gee. Can you imagine if the situation were reversed - a man tells his wife, minutes after she gave birth to their baby, that he'll be taking the baby and she is banished from the home?
So, we give Waitress a big thumbs down. Even more sad to us than this movie is the fact that its reviewers couldn't see they fell into believing our culture's stereotypes.