Cake

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Cake Movie Poster Image
Grim but interesting drama has prescription drug abuse.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No matter how despondent and isolated someone might feel, there's always a way back to the light.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Claire starts off as a very angry person, with little hope. But she still has a modicum of determination and a will to live. And her estranged husband still cares for her, as does her housekeeper, who's her main lifeline.

Violence

Frank talk about suicide, with some scenes depicting a person standing on a freeway ledge, about to jump, and lying on railroad tracks. One character kills herself; others are affected by the aftermath. A woman is disturbed by the sight of a man and rushes at him, pushing and kicking. A fatal car accident is discussed. A character suffers from chronic pain.

Sex

Couples are shown presumably having sex under the covers, but there's no nudity. 

Language

Some swearing, including "s--t," "hell," and "f--k."

Consumerism

An affluent woman clearly comes across as such because of the things she owns, including a Jeep and other high-end goods.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A woman is addicted to prescription pills, which she obtains illegally. She's shown popping them constantly. Specific pill brands mentioned include Percocet and Oxycontin.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cake is a grim drama that deals with incredibly tragic issues, including chronic pain, a fatal car accident, and the suicide of a young mother. As such, it's likely too heavy for young teens and tweens. Expect some swearing, including "s--t" and "f--k," and many scenes showing star Jennifer Aniston's character popping pills that she has procured illegally. It's implied that characters are having sex (they're under the covers; there's no nudity)

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byB-KMastah February 14, 2015

Incredibly bland.

It's a well known fact that movies are supposed to elicit a reaction from their audiences. Even if movies don't succeed in what they intend to do, the... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bydestinytig July 12, 2015

stupid

This is one stupid movie. Don't even waste your time watching it.
Teen, 14 years old Written byKat02 May 6, 2017

Great movie, appropriate for mature teens

This film was great in my opinion, you are left with clues to try and figure out what happened to the main character which makes the storyline more interesting,... Continue reading

What's the story?

Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston), a former lawyer, has lost her faith in humanity and in a bright future. Her young son is dead, her marriage in shambles. At group therapy, she discovers that another member, Nina (Anna Kendrick), has jumped off a freeway overpass, leaving her own husband and child behind. Stricken with grief, Claire explores Nina's abandoned life, looking for clues to her own salvation.

Is it any good?

CAKE won't let you have it and eat it, too. The storyline is interesting, albeit grim, and Aniston and Adriana Barraza -- who plays Claire's housekeeper, Silvana -- are very impressive (this may be Aniston's strongest performance to date, devoid of both makeup and self-consciousness). But the rest of the film is a bit of a jumble, making metaphorical leaps that aren't earned and meandering to the point of losing its way. Claire makes decisions that are ostensibly out of anger -- and later something else -- but how she gets there isn't all that convincing. See it for Aniston and Barraza, but check your expectations first.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Claire is so hostile. Are her reasons understandable? Does Cake offer any constructive approaches for dealing with chronic anger?

  • Why do you think Claire is so dependent on pills? Are there realistic consequences for her substance use? How does the movie explore the reasons why people may abuse pills?

  • Much has been made of the fact that star Jennifer Aniston made herself "ugly" for her role in this movie. Do you agree with that assessment? Why do you think Hollywood actresses are drawn to play unglamorous characters? Would a male actor doing something similar be singled out the same way?

  • Why do you think the movie is called Cake?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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