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  The Cake Eaters

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Aaron Stanford, Bruce Dern, Elizabeth Ashley

Directed by: Mary Stuart Masterson

Produced by: May Stuart Masterson, Elisa Pugliese, Jessee Scolaro

Written by: Jayce Bartok

Distributor: 57th and Irving The Cake Eaters, LLC

As seen at the 2007 San Diego Film Festival:

     Mary Stuart Masterson’s The Cake Eaters is an overly simplistic and obnoxiously manipulative melodrama, the antithesis of what you’d expect from a movie that played the festival circuit as much as it did. The film employs the great young talents of Kristen Stewart and Aaron Stanford in its lead roles—likely the reason festivals accepted it—but ultimately wastes them on one artificial situation after another. Stewart plays Georgia, a teenager suffering from Friedriech's Ataxia, a disease that affects the nervous system. Knowing she may not have long before her health escapes her, Georgia becomes desperate to lose her virginity to any willing participant. Stanford’s character, twentysomething local-boy Beagle, is the only guy both deluded and compassionate enough to grant Georgia her wish. What ensues is a plot that uses Friederiech’s Ataxia as one of many ploys for Lifetime-style heart-wrenching. Stewart tries her best, but she cannot escape that Masterson and writer Jayce Bartok use her character’s disease as a plot-gimmick, never crafting a believable world around it. The physicality of Friederich’s Ataxia may be present in Stewart’s performance, but it’s only there to provide the necessary amount of “offbeat” for the movie to be considered an offbeat romance. While the premise may sound provocative on paper, it’s presented like that of any standard-issue melodrama. If it weren’t for the always-welcome (though here exploited) presences of Stewart and Stanford, the movie would be downright insufferable. Self-important and just icky all around, The Cake Eaters is better left unseen.

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 10.4.2007

Screened on: 9.29.2007 at the Pacific Gaslamp 15 in San Diego, CA.


The Cake Eaters is Not Rated and runs 95 minutes.

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