In "Cake" Jennifer Aniston plays Claire Simmons, a cranky depressed woman who is in chronic pain after having been involved a car accident that killed her child. Now staying alone with only her Mexican immigrant housekeeper (Adriana Barraza) for company Simmons takes to popping pain killers like sweets washing them down with copious amounts of white wine.

It's whilst attending a self-help group for people who suffer from chronic pain that she finds out that Nina (Anna Kendrick), a member of the group, has committed suicide by jumping to her death from a freeway overpass. Asked by the group leader Annette (Felicity Huffman) to share her feelings about Nina's death she blasts Nina for taking her life and is immediately kicked out of the group

Simmons herself seems to be on a downward spiral, she has loveless sex with her gardener whilst she and her housekeeper travel to Mexico in search of drugs. It's not long after her Mexican trip that she starts to experience hallucinatory visions of Nina who encourages Simmons to take her own life. The visions then lead her to search out Nina's husband, Roy (Sam Worthington) and an unlikely friendship occurs.

Aniston looking every one of her 46 years and with her trademark hair looking as if it's never seen shampoo for months is wonderful as Simmons and it's a surprise that she hasn't been nominated for any of this year’s major acting awards. The problem with "Cake" is that other than Aniston’s performance it has very little to recommend in it. The story is paper thin and characters, with the exceptions of Aniston’s, are underused and flirt in and out of the story for only short periods, this makes the whole film feel as if it's a vehicle designed only to highlight Aniston’s acting skills.


Cake (15)

Director: Daniel Barnz
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, William H Macy

UK Release: Friday 20th February 2015