This is so un-chronological. First we watched Waitress (made in 2007), which had Andy Griffith. Andy was also in Play the Game (2009). Marla Sokoloff was in that as well. Because of that movie, we watched Love on the Side (2006). As I recall Marla’s also in Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000) with Jennifer Garner (and why haven’t they ever got around to making of sequel from that?).
But this post is about Love on the Side, which in Canada is also known as Deluxe Combo Platter, which is just a little bit too suggestive if you ask me.
Unlike Play the Game, I could watch this with my mom and not be too embarrassed. Somehow instead of ever being vulgar, it just gets earthy. I think that’s the Canadianness showing through. There is some nudity, which of course is un-American, so you might not want the kids in the room. They can watch it later while you’re sleeping. Meg Tilley is awesome and over the top. I never knew she was so funny!
So, it’s another waitressy movie. Again there’s the older, more worldly waitress, like Diane Ladd. In this case it’s Ms Tilley. Our hero is the younger waitress, as usual. That’s Marla. She has a relationship that doesn’t work out the way you’d expect. There’s a cook and a mortician. I love his assistant. It’s just your basic waitress movie.
The characters are great! They start as stereotypes and then get turned on their heads and into real people. You’ll recognize everyone one of them as someone one you know. There’s a strange feeling of reality that you don’t usually get in comedies. I’m still wondering what the foods were metaphors fors.
There are these black and white segments that briefly comment on what’s going on. And a lot goes on. It lasts 102 minutes, but seems longer. It’s not that it gets slow or boring, it’s just that there’s a lot happening.
A couple of beats don’t get set up just right. The uncle is not around enough. The boy’s superhero fascination is mentioned but never dramatized that I could tell. The New York City apartment is barn-sized. But these are small nits to pick out of lots of big fluffy hair full of mousse. Don’t worry about it.
It’s not a formula movie, despite being in the waitress genre. There’s some intelligent points made about body image and fulfilling your dreams. And there’s a lot of heart.
So go ahead and order up some Love on the Side, but do it Dolly Parton, not all Ally McBeal.