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Stars: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith, Adrienne Shelly, Cheryl Hines, Eddie Jemison

Director: Adrienne Shelly

Jenna (the sparky Russell) is the pie queen at Joe's Pie Diner. For every situation in her (pretty miserable) life, she dreams up a new pie, whether it's getting back at her abusive husband (Sisto), whose motto is 'Just do what I tell you', dreading the thoughts of her oncoming and unwanted baby, or thinking with affection about the diner's cantankerous old owner (Griffith).

She doesn't really believe the old curmudgeon when he tells her that 'I love living vicariously through the pain and suffering of others'. It's a funny line though.

Then she meets the town's dashing new - married - doctor (Fillion of TV Firefly fame) and suddenly 'naughty pumpkin pie' is on the menu.

This is a sweet-natured film, but it's essentially inconsequential and its pies don't have quite enough filling. Writer-director Shelly, who also plays the heroine's waitress friend Pam, does supply some amusing snippets of dialogue along the way, though, generously giving most of them to others. Made up for a date by Jenna, she's told 'Pam! You're beautiful! You look like a normal person.'

Fillion is pretty bland, but Russell is up to the demands of the leading role - she just wants to be content and win some pie contests - and of course there's a happy ending. Not for Shelly, alas, who was the victim of a brutal killing soon after completing this film, which is dedicated to her.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Optimum. Colour.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 05 Aug 2007