The film "Waitress" disturbed me. Nonetheless, I recommend the quirky genuineness of its stereotypical characters and romances. I recommend its humorous layers surrounding a core theme about an abusive husband and a wife who feels too trapped to free herself. And I recommend it because it disturbed me, often a salient indicator of good movie making.
By the way, a much better name for this film would be "Piety." The easy draw of the title, "Waitress," shortchanges the title character, her gift, her essence, and her struggle. After you see "Waitress," e-mail email@example.com and tell me whether you agree that "Piety" is a better name. While you're at it, tell me whether this film disturbed you or whether you simply enjoyed the mouth-watering taste of its irreverent charms.
I don't mean that the film disturbed me because the husband of the title character was a small-minded, controlling, constricting, egotistical baboon. And it didn't exactly disturb me that the film failed to help me believe that this well-grounded and creative woman would have been fooled into marriage and shrunk under this man's dominance. (I say this without minimizing the victimization and terror that so many suffer under the thumbs of such real-life abusers.)
The film disturbed me because the pie-sweet leading lady sacrifices moral high ground through well-constructed loopholes in Hollywood storytelling. She escapes into an affair with the film's adorable leading man. We're effectively made to root for the truth - or at least the hormones - of their passions. Her lover - a married man and the doctor overseeing her pregnancy - comes with zero explanation in the script as to why he so readily cheats on his wife and his professional ethics. Ultimately, we're effectively warmed into applauding the film's neat moral reconstruction.
Of course, there is a ready explanation baked into such behavior: human beings do what makes them human beings. "Waitress" serves up ingredients that should not go so well together, but whether you find them disturbing or not, they do.