In the movie and novel, Wonder, Auggie Pullman said “Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world”. This quote has not only become a kind of unofficial motto for 18 Cinema Lane, but also my mission for this blog: to give movies or movie related subjects that I care about a “standing ovation”. So, when I came across a film called Waffle Street, I knew this would be no exception, especially since it seems like so few people have talked about the film. Based on a true story, the premise behind this film sounded, to me, like the kind of story that could be uplifting and inspirational. It also seemed like this movie could be filled with lessons and morals that audience members can not only find relatable, but also take away and apply to their own lives. With all that said, you’re probably wondering if Waffle Street is truly deserving of this “standing ovation”. Let me whip up and serve my review so you can find out!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: I thought that the cast of Waffle Street was good. However, the two stars that I felt were the most talented were Danny Glover and Julie Gonzalo. Three months ago, I said in my review of The Sweetest Heart that Julie has shined on Hallmark Channel since 2016. In Waffle Street, Julie still finds a way to shine as her performance was one of the best parts of this film! I’ve also seen Danny in the original Lethal Weapon film and, most recently, The Christmas Train, so I knew he had good acting talents. Danny’s portrayal of Edward Collins was great!
The morals and lessons: Something that I liked about Waffle Street was the morals and lessons that the story was trying to share with the audience. As the character of James “Jimmy” Adams (portrayed by James Lafferty) travels on his journey of personal growth, he comes across moments that present lessons about hard work, goal setting, and not easily giving up. He also is given morals about honesty, putting in a good effort into everything you do, and that no occupation is perfect. The morals and lessons from Waffle Street seem relatable and inspirational, as well as having the ability to touch people’s lives.
What I didn’t like about the film:
A slow pace: In my opinion, the pace of Waffle Street was slow. Because of this, most scenes felt longer than they needed to be.
Too much exposition: In about the first thirty minutes of the film, the story is loaded with exposition. While exposition is an important component to any movie, especially if it involves a true story, it feels like it was served up (no pun intended) in Waffle Street a little too soon. There was even exposition given about the restaurant in the film, but its delivery just felt random. Having the story’s exposition dispersed throughout the film is a creative choice that I think would have worked better for this film.
An unlikable lead couple: Though this movie is based on a true story, the way the characters of James “Jimmy” Adams and Becky Adams were portrayed in the film made them appear unlikable. There were times when both of them seemed selfish and weren’t overly bothered by what their significant other wanted. In the film, James and Becky barely had a conversation with each other and when they did, the topic didn’t seem very important. The way the couple was portrayed in Waffle Street didn’t give me the impression their relationship was a healthy one.
Not enough character development: In Waffle Street, the only character that I felt was given the appropriate amount of character development was James “Jimmy” Adams. Because of the other characters’ lack of character development, it made them seem like they had no greater purpose in the story other than being a part of James’ life experience. Even though there were several characters throughout this film, I didn’t feel like I truly got to know most of them, but only became familiar with them. Out of all of them, I, as a member of the audience, only got to know three of the characters in Waffle Street.
An unnecessary toilet scene: One of the lessons that Waffle Street teaches its audience is that every occupation has an unglamorous side to it. While this lesson is important to learn, the way this movie executes this lesson was definitely not needed. In the film, James has to clean a toilet that is so clogged up, he has to fix it with gloved hands. What makes this scene unnecessary is the creative team behind this movie decided to literally show their audience the dirty toilet (twice). It was so disgusting, I had to look away from my TV screen until the toilet scene was gone.
My overall impression:
Waffle Street is a very average film. While I admit there are good lessons and morals that can be found within this story, I can think of movies and stories that share these exact same themes, but in a better way (a good example: Cooking with Love). What’s disappointing about this film is that it had the potential to not only be a good movie, but to also share a story that deserved to be told through a cinematic lens. However, the overall execution of this film, in my opinion, did not do this true story justice. Though I don’t believe the overall film deserves a “standing ovation”, I definitely think the cast does, especially Julie Gonzalo and Danny Glover. Even if Waffle Street wasn’t as good as I had hoped, I will continue to talk about movies that I feel need to be talked about more.
Overall score: 5-5.1 out of 10
Have you seen Waffle Street? What inspiring, true story do you think deserves a movie? Tell me below in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!