By all accounts this film should not work. And well... it doesn't, not quite. It might however, work enough.
It's a cartoon in many ways. Some of the music cues are way over the top, and the actors deal with the material with different degrees of success. Keri Russell, for example, is great as Jenna, the waitress of the title. There is one extended sequence of shots where she has an exaggerated bewildered look on her face, a look which then turns into an ecstatic smile for the next couple, and it is perfect, somehow. But aside from hers all the characters are fairly one-dimensional, the two other waitresses most egregiously: they each get their perfectly predictable plot development, but character development, apparently, was too much to ask. As for Jenna's husband, he's supposed to be both a laughingstock and genuinely threatening, and that simply doesn't work
But let's get to the things that DO work. Mostly, that's the chemistry because Nathan Fillion's Dr. Pommater and Jenna. Every time they kiss I felt it. Now, admittedly, I do have a long-standing crush on Cap'n Tight-Pants, but still. And I loved how refreshing the film's take on adultery was: the film admits that it's a foolish, potentially hurtful thing to do, but in the film it doesn't need to lead to a terrible conclusion, and it even has some positive consequences. This is the kind of nuance and realism sorely lacking from the sexualisation-of-our-culture debate currently going on in the Netherlands.
And then there's the pies. Oh, I wish I could bake pies like that. They are gorgeous and odd and delicious-looking, and having Jenna give them names like "I don't want Earl's baby-pie" is a gimmick that works. In the end, the film doesn't quite manage to reconcile the quirks on the surface with the truly depressing content, but this is a little film worth watching.
A film, too, with a worthwhile message: maybe it's best, indeed, to settle for being "happy enough".