Directed by: Anne Hu
“You can have your cake and eat it too” is an idiom that we’ve all heard, and most of us know not to be true. This idiom, and actual cake, are symbolic of the struggle a young couple is going through in the short film Cake screening in the graveyard shift of films at the upcoming 2017 Nashville Film Festival.
The film focuses on the sexual experimentation happening between married couple Eliza and Thomas. Eliza is searching for ways to be herself, a bisexual woman, within the confines of her heterosexual relationship. Eliza surprises her husband by ordering a female sex robot. In her mind this is a way to be faithful to her husband and still explore her sexual needs. The surprise does not go as she planned. The film is tightly shot making it feel claustrophobic. The tight spaces don’t give the couple, or the viewer, a break from this situation.
The film is completely over-the-top in its melodrama and its comedy. The early scenes feature snap and whoosh sound fx on fast movements assumably to assure us that we are in for a comedic experience. While the shift away from the whoosh fx is welcome it does feel abrupt. That’s not to say there aren’t some other instances of ridiculous humor because their definitely are more on the way. Their is a little emotional twist at the end that rings blatantly true inside this histrionic experience. The “cake” symbol and theme is a really fun element of a story we’ve heard before. At its core, Cake is a fun and liberating film, but it manages to touch on the complexities of modern sexual relationships and Asian fetishism. Don’t get to bogged down in social commentary though; this is a funny and engaging film that is a must see.
The Nashville Film Festival runs from April 20th to the 29th. Cake screens as part of shorts blocks at the festival on the 20th and 25th. Head on over to the Nashville Film Festival website to get the complete schedule.