By Penelope Steiner. “Claire” is a mess, traumatically scarred, physically and psychologically; we encounter her in a group support session where the suicide of a former member is analyzed; Claire is isolated, remotely uninterested in recovery; her attendance defies feasibility . Every second of every frame capitalizes on her agonizing pain; she lies down in vehicles, devours massive, illegally attained drugs, gallons of alcohol and engages in haphazard physical encounters. Eventually, tiring of her debilitating devotion to her maimed life we experience a sense of relief when she contemplates joining her suicidal acquaintance.
The only thing remarkable about “Cake” (lacking even a hint of sweetness) is that the out-of-shape, plain protagonist, Claire, is depicted by the penultimate ingénue, Jennifer Aniston; gone, butchered is the cute, tiny, femme fatale, presumably beyond recognition or resurrection; this took courage, strength and talent; she is excellent; unfortunately the script and scenario were not worthy of her energy or ours.