I was sold on Cake when I found out that Jennifer Aniston was starring in a darker drama. I’m sure she’s doing something right for a lot people when it comes to her lighter comedic roles, but that’s not the Aniston that works for me. The dark comedy The Good Girl is (and will probably always be) my favourite movie of hers (actually, one of my all-time favourites in general too). So with hope and no further information, I saw Cake.
The movie follows a woman (Aniston) struggling to cope with chronic physical and emotional pain, while also dealing with the death of a woman (Anna Kendrick) in her pain support group. It looks into her day-to-day life as the mystery of her tragic and scarring past slowly unfolds to the audience.
This film is entirely founded on Aniston’s performance. It’s a macro on her character and if she isn’t able to deliver, the entire film is fruitless. In that same respect, because she does deliver, it becomes a really commendable film. Although it may not happen specifically here, if Aniston continues to carefully select her dramatic roles, she could be on her way to winning an Oscar.
Complimenting Aniston’s strong performance are the deep and dark tones throughout, allowing the film to take a very emotional route. If you’re strictly a Friends fan, be warned, you’re in for some heavy material. Towards the end of the film, I was having trouble blinking away misty eyes. However, if you’re not feeling it, I can understand how it might come across a bit long and tiring.
The movie also features several near-perfect supporting performances from Sam Worthington, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy and Adriana Barraza, who all work together with Aniston to deliver a believable picture.
Altogether, it was a memorable leading performance set to a moving storyline and undoubtedly a step in the right direction for Aniston. But it still left me wanting to rewatch The Good Girl.