Review: Cake with Jennifer Aniston and Anna Kendrick

Undated Film Still Handout from Cake. Pictured: Jennifer Aniston as Claire Bennett and Sam Worthington as Roy Collins. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Warner Bros. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from Cake. Pictured: Jennifer Aniston as Claire Bennett and Sam Worthington as Roy Collins. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Warner Bros. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Out now this week in cinemas is Cake, a new film starring Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza and Anna Kendrick.

A film about a woman who has suffered from an incredible tragedy, trying to rediscover a reason to stay alive.

Sometimes when you see a film you love it, sometimes you hate it and sometimes you don’t know how you feel until you start writing. I didn’t know how I felt and I’m starting to think I hated this film though Aniston’s acting is great, raw and very real and the only reason to watch it.

Cake begins with Claire (Anniston) attending a chronic pain support group, seemingly because of some accident that has left her with a permanent scar on her face. The group are trying to deal with one of their members, Nina, leaving via the extreme method of plummeting to her death from a bridge into a truck delivering furniture. Claire isn’t the least bit phased by this and is quite angry with Nina (Kendrick) for making life so difficult on her husband and children, which seems to me to be a bit of a misunderstanding of what depression is, though a common and understandable reaction also.

Claire stands up and walks out and gets a taxi home where she lies down because of her pain, I would say that Aniston’s acting at these moments is particularly outstanding. I’m not sure if you can cringe with individual muscles but every one in my back winced at the sight of her moving. Aniston really made me feel her pain and despite her abrasive attitude every wince she made enforced my constant empathy throughout most of the film.

It occurs to Claire through hallucinations that she is obsessed with Nina’s suicide and constantly has her taunting her, greeting her initially by telling her she is ‘a coward’, implying that she would have killed herself already if she was brave enough. This causes her to follow her footsteps to the bridge and meet up with Nina’s husband to try and understand her. Surprisingly the film lightens up here just a smidgen, and can be almost described as funny in some scenes. At the end of the film I felt drained and uninspired and the titular word Cake had very little to do with the plot, the singular line that it references was basically a manipulative tool to make you feel bad, and didn’t affect the film in anyway. The whole story behind her accident is gradually unveiled throughout and is probably worth watching it for if this all sounds appealing.

I can’t think of a reason why you should watch this film over any other film but if it jumps out of a bargain bin and lands in your blu-ray player at some point, you might not be as annoyed as you think if you kept watching it. But you will be sad afterwards.