A Painful, Bitter but Convincing “Cake”
By Skip Sheffield
Jennifer Anniston’s newest movie is no piece of “Cake.”
Yes, “Cake” is the title of a dramatic story by Patrick Tobin about a woman terribly damaged emotionally and physically by a horrific traffic accident that cost the life of her young son.
People bear tragedy in different ways. Claire (Jennifer Anniston) is in constant, intense pain, which is barely diminished by alcohol and prescription drugs. Claire is angry; angry at the man who caused the accident; angry at her husband Jason Bennett (Chris Messina) for deserting her, and angry at her friend Nina (Anna Kendrick) for committing suicide.
Claire is so angry she is asked to leave her support group because she is bumming everyone out. Any psychological counselor will tell you the number one factor is a person’s emotional problems is anger, or “anger management” as it is now called. Claire’s anger is out of control.
Jennifer Anniston has de-beautified herself by throwing away the makeup kit, stopped washing her hair, and allowed herself to be disfigured with fake scars all over her face and body. She is foul-mouthed, cruel and nasty.
The only person who can tolerate Claire is her loyal, patient maid/caretaker Silvana (Adriana Barraza), and even she is at the end of her tether.
The only ray of light in Claire’s seething story is the kind, British widower of Nina, Roy Collins (Sam Worthington) and his adorable six-year-old son.
Jennifer Anniston really believed in this film to the extent she is executive producer as well as star. Surely director Daniel Barnz encouraged her to go for the gusto, teetering on the brink of suicide in what could be called an “Oscar bait” role.
My problem is that I have known people like Claire in real life. When they take their own life it is a pain that never goes away. So as much as I admire Anniston’s performance, it is painful to watch. Yes, she is that convincing. But "Cake" is no fun.