Top positive review
Heart-warming, heart wrenching
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2017
This is an emotional story about human love in a rural American setting. As such it will probably bring tears to your eyes. I know it did to mine. The script by Jayce Bartok and the direction by Mary Stuart Masterson are carefully composed to create a celebration of love that defies convention.
Georgia (Kristen Stewart) is a 15-year-old girl suffering from Friedreich's ataxia. When her to-be lover, cafeteria worker Beagle (Aaron Stanford), asks if she is going to get better, Georgia says, “No, this is pretty much as good as it's gonna get until my heart gives out.” She has invited him into her bedroom to help her with her homework. At one point she says, “You can kiss me if you want to.” Stewart plays the part with limbs all askew and dangling almost helplessly. Yet her face is so, so pretty and healthy looking that the contrast is striking. The next day they go to a motel. She is determined to experience love before she dies. The idea is so touching.
Also sure to pull your heart strings is the older and mostly secret love affair between Easy Kimbrough (Bruce Dern) and Marg Kaminski (Elizabeth Ashley). Bittersweet is Guy Kimbrough’s (Jayce Bartok) realization that his girlfriend Stephanie (Miriam Shor) has married and started a family in his absence.
All of this could easily go from pathos to bathos to the maudlin except for the careful direction by Masterson and the fine acting all around.
What I have been trying to figure out is why the movie is entitled “The Cake Eaters.” What came to mind was Marie Antoinette’s infamous, “Let them eat cake,” but I couldn’t see the connection.
--Dennis Littrell, author of the movie review book “Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can’t Believe I Swallowed the Remote”