Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



I’m not sure of the significance of the title. There are two cakes in the movie. One is cooked by the main character, and one is brought in by Anna Kendrick, who is dead. She then throws it out the window and jumps after it, killing herself again, I guess. I’m just hoping this isn’t the cake that got left out in the rain in MacArthur Park. I’ve always hated that soggy cake metaphor.

Jennifer Aniston is suffering from chronic pain. We gradually understand that she was badly injured in a car accident that left her face a bit disfigured, and tore up her legs pretty badly. And her five-year-old son was killed. She is not dealing with it well. One of the members of her support group just threw herself off a freeway overpass, and now Jennifer is flirting with the idea. She sits on the bottom of her pool. She lies down on railroad tracks. She takes a lot of pills, hiding stashes here and there around the house. She is so traumatized by the idea of looking out through the windshield of a car that she always rides reclined all the way while her longsuffering maid-housekeeper, Silvana, drives. By the end of the movie she is a little better, but there is no miraculous recovery.

Jennifer had been mentioned as a possible Oscar nominee for this picture, but it didn’t happen. She’s good in the role, which is sort of a thankless one in many ways. There is also good work by Adriana Barraza as Silvana. She got second billing, which is highly unusual for a part like that, but well deserved. And there is a short but effective appearance by William H. Macy as the driver of the other car who shows up to … what? Apologize? I wondered if it was his own idiotic idea or the idea some idiotic shrink recommending that he “make amends.” Gee, I’m sorry I fucked up your face, left you in constant agony, made you terrified to drive, and, oh, right, killed your only child … Some people, man. It’s a good thing she didn’t have a gun or he would be dead. As it was, she tore into him and beat the crap out of him.

One more thing I have to comment on. Why is it that Mexico allows its people to self-medicate and the United States makes sure to be looking intolerantly over your shoulder every time you pop a pill? The women go to Tijuana to buy some serious meds, which you can get south of the border just by asking for them. The problem is, if you don’t have a prescription for them and they find them at the border, you can go to jail. So people in pain are turned into smugglers. Just as, for so many years, people in pain were forced to become outlaws by using marijuana. Is there anything in the world as fucked up as our national drug policy? Over half the two million people we have incarcerated are in there for non-violent drug “crimes.”

I’m in favor of legalization and over-the-counter sale. For everything. You name it: codeine, cocaine, pot, opium, oxycontin, methedrine, heroin. We should be able to take whatever we want, in any quantity we want, including lethal dosages, without coming begging to our doctors, who are in turn terrorized by the DEA, who monitor every scrip your personal doctor writes. No one has ever told me what the big problem is with drug addiction. It is a completely puritanical reaction to drugs that ease the pain; the Lord says you are supposed to suffer. Well, fuck the Lord, and fuck all puritans and fuck all anti-drug people. If I’m in pain, I will damn well take whatever I want, in whatever quantity I want, even if it makes me a criminal.