Monday, October 05, 2015

Movie Monday: The Cake Eaters

While my husband was out golfing one evening last week, I indulged in a Sue-movie, i.e. one with no action, car chases, or shooting. This is a rarity for me, with three men in the house usually choosing our movies!

I watched The Cake Eaters (free on Amazon Prime), a different kind of coming-of-age story, wrapped up with a family's struggle with grief. Kristen Stewart plays Georgia, a high school student struggling with Friedreich's Ataxia, a progressive neurological disorder that is very disabling. Georgia manages pretty well in spite of her disabilities; she is a good student and loves to spend time with her quirky, independent grandmother, Marg, played by Elizabeth Ashley. As the film opens, Georgia is escaping from her overprotective mother to spend a day at the flea market with Marg, selling haunting and beautiful black and white portraits her mother has taken of her, to help bring attention to the disease.

At the flea market, they meet Beagle and his dad, played by Aaron Stanford and Bruce Dern, respectively. They are grieving over the loss of Beagle's mother, after a long and difficult illness. Beagle is a young man unsure what to do with his life, now that his mother is gone, because he was totally focused on taking care of her. Now, he works at the high school cafeteria and dabbles in painting. His dad knows Marg and introduces him, and Beagle is immediately drawn to Georgia and not scared off by her disabilities. Soon after, Beagle's older brother, Guy (played by Jayce Bartok), shows up unexpectedly, after being away for three years.

As the three men try to figure out how to get along together and move forward, Beagle and Georgia get closer. Georgia's grandmother urges her to go slowly with Beagle, but Georgia tells her she doesn't have time to wait. The three men struggle with their relationship, secrets are revealed, and Georgia moves forward with her plan to experience all life has to offer before it is too late, despite her mother's attempts to protect her. All of the actors did a great job in these emotional roles, though Stewart was especially convincing in her portrayal of a young woman with a crippling disease. I really enjoyed this intense, coming-of-age family drama that looks at life with chronic illness, a topic not often touched upon in movies. Despite that subject matter, the movie is not depressing but rather focuses on life, love, and moving forward.

Have you seen any good movies lately?


  1. This sounds like the perfect movie to watch when I am on my own because I can laugh and cry as much as I want to! I'd never heard of it, but it sounds good

    1. Yes, exactly! I save the non-action, more emotional stuff for when I am alone! Though this really isn't a tear-jerker at all - it has a very positive perspective which is part of what I liked about it.