Lowdown: A restless young woman finds her right place.
For some reason I have been living my life under the impression that 2005’s Cake is a potentially promising comedy, an impression that resulted in me recently recording it off the air and – eventually – watch it. An impression I sorely regret.
Cake is a romantic comedy of the type we’ve seen so many times before. The only twist it offers is in having a female, Heather Graham, take on the role normally reserved to men – that is, the role of the wandering vagabond that is completely unable to attach themselves to a relationship. That twist, however, is far from enough to sustain Cake.
Our lovely Graham (no sarcasm here; she is definitely lovely) is a young girl that likes to wander all over the world and leave her men behind the way one leaves a book when returning it to the library. Then, about a minute into the film, her father – who, we learn, is some sort of a media tycoon – suffers a heart attack and – in a moment of weakness – let’s his daughter act as the editor of his bridal magazine. How witty is that?
As can be expected (haven’t we seen this film plenty of times before?), Graham doesn’t fit well into the world of bridal magazines and the stability one associates with being married. At first she stumbles, but then – with the help of a developing relationship with her father’s second in command – she starts standing by her own rights. Needless to say, given that we’ve seen this film so many times before, her new relationship has its ups and downs. It is, however, completely needless of me to report how things work out at the end.
So, other than lack of originality and total predictability, what else is wrong with Cake? First, there is that hidden devil of a stupid conservative agenda that Hollywood is so in love with – namely that a girl is no good without a man by her side (probably to hold her by a leash). Second, the acting is terribly bad; it looks as if the various actors have had a collection of bad days at the office when Cake was being made, because they’re all so unconvincing. And third, the actor’s dismal performance leads me to point the finger towards less than illustrious direction work.
Worst scene: Graham is making a speech before her magazine’s staff. There is nothing extraordinary about the speech or its delivery, yet Cake pushes these not so subtle cues at us to make it sound like it’s Martin Luther King having a dream here instead. Sorry, if this was supposed to be an exciting build-up scene then it had totally failed. Instead, it acts as nothing but an example for the poor movie making taking place with Cake.
Overall: A totally redundant experience. 1.5 out of 5 stars.