Some movies just happen to be overshadowed by their stars before they even premiere. And Cake is one of them. Whether you find Mrs. Anniston funny, cute, or whatever, I think you should check out this movie. It deals with subjects like depression and suicide in an approachable way. And it doesn’t use any cheap tricks or melodrama to elicit an emotional response from the audience. It keeps it raw and real, just the way I like it. And it stays surprisingly positive without coming off pretentious. A true sign of a well-crafted movie. And I will try to say nothing about how we are following a wealthy white lady who’s able to afford a big house with a pool, physical therapy, and everything else. Ahh, gosh darn it, I guess I did say something.
So, what do we have here? Cake is a drama infused with a lot of dark humor and it even has a bit of romance sprinkled on top. I know we are getting a lot of these dramedies lately, but if they’re all as good as this one, I ain’t complaining. The story is quite original and it shows us, I’m guessing just a glimpse of what it’s like living with these issues. It also touches upon the opiate crisis that’s shaking the white suburbs right now. However, even if you’re not suffering from any physical pain, you can relate to how’s Claire is feeling. And we’re not going to watch some long-ass scenes of suffering and difficult situations, forcing you to get all emotional. We will be following a pretty streamlined and engaging plot. And even better characters.
Life is fucked up, and life is especially fucked up if you’re in constant pain. After a terrible accident, Claire Bennett is in constant, chronic pain. Soon she joins a support group but that also starts going downhill after one of the members commits suicide. Now, Claire is no longer certain that she can make it through another day…
The dialogues are just amazing and acting even better with Jennifer Aniston proving once and for all that she’s an amazing actress. Dark, intelligent, and snippy, Jenny from the block has that “I really don’t care attitude” that we love so much. Not to mention the pity party and self-loathing that are a must when it comes to depression. There are many ways to get as fucked as she is, and they can be as simple as depression or disappointment with life in general, but whatever the road is, the destination never changes. And the thing about Cake is that it shows roads from that destination, roads that can lead you to wonderful places. If you’re looking for something similar, I recommend Friends with Money, also starring Jennifer Aniston.
Finally, I just want to say that if you’re suffering from chronic pain or are even just struggling with some mental health issues, it is okay to seek help. I also recommend you at least try meditation. It helped a lot of people and for example, Headspace guided meditation has an entire section dedicated to pain and how to deal with it. For me personally, Waking Up by Sam Harris was a true revelation and it helped me a lot. It’s amazing how just ten minutes a day can change your life so profoundly. And if you cannot afford these programs, you can find them on the Internet for free. I still don’t understand why they are selling them.
Director: Daniel Barnz
Writer: Patrick Tobin
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman
Fun Facts: Jennifer Aniston does not wear any makeup in the film at all, except for the kind used to create her fake scarring and when Roy (Sam Worthington) comes to lunch in her house.