Cake (2005) Poster

(I) (2005)

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5/10
Have your Cake and Eat it ,Too
gradyharp3 July 2006
Director Nisha Ganatra and writer Tassie Cameron seem to have most of their experience in TV movies so this little slice of the industry is a change for them. Would that it were wholly successful because it seems as though both had a fine idea for something to say but just didn't know how to make it work. And again, blame the PR folks for making a cover for the DVD that not only seems silly, it has little to do with the story inside.

Pippa McGee (Heather Graham) is a travel writer, a hedonist, and an independent woman who avoids relationships like the plague. The film starts with a goofus dash for a wedding in which she is once again a bridesmaid on the run. After the ceremony she jokes with her best friend Lulu (Sandra Oh) who is equally against long term relationships beyond a quick shag, and she also meets one Ian (David Sutcliffe - Under the Tuscan Sun, Testosterone, Happy Endings etc), a handsome if shy young man who though attracted to Pippa, sees her as dangerous territory.

Pippa soon discovers that her father Malcolm McGee (Bruce Gray), a wealthy successful owner of a magazine conglomerate, is ill, has a heart attack, and though the father and daughter have had a negligible relationship, Pippa offers her help. Of course, her assignment is to be editor of 'Wedding Bells' magazine her departed mother started, and Pippa takes on the epitome of everything she loathes about relationships and marriage and tries to make a go of it. She discovers that Ian is her father's vice president and thus in charge of her new and loathed assignment. Pippa partners with the handsome magazine photographer Hemingway Jones (Taye Diggs), has a fling, and becomes close friends and partners in an attempt to change the look of the wedding magazine. There are far too many subplots to discuss, but suffice it to say that changes occur in the personalities of everyone involved and the ending, while entirely predictable, has enough humor and warmth to make a good evening out of a shaky story.

Heather Graham handles her 'challengingly bad' role with great aplomb: she is a delight to watch. The remainder of the cast does their best with the lines they're given. This is a bit of fluff, aimed at the 'chick flick' devotees, but it has its moments. Grady Harp, July 06
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3/10
Oh, Heather!
anhedonia25 February 2006
In a perfect world, Heather Graham would be as bankable as, say, Julia Roberts.

Graham certainly is prettier than the Pretty Woman, has a better sense of comedic timing and, let's face it, has eyes you could disappear into. (Any straight guy who says otherwise is, well, probably Republican.) Trouble is, Graham isn't going to be America's sweetheart - I don't know if she wants to be - if she keeps making films such as "Cake."

I realize Graham executive-produced this film. What was she thinking? Surely she saw Tassie Cameron's script as just another run-of-the-mill romantic comedy replete with the clichéd love triangle and tired stereotypes.

Perhaps Graham needs a new agent - especially after the "Emily's Reasons Why Not" debacle. She has some good films on her resume -"Bowfinger" (1999), "Boogie Nights" (1997), "Two Girls and a Guy" (1997), "The Ballad of Little Jo" (1993) and "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989). But the roles that stand out are Rollergirl and Felicity Shagwell and it's the clunkers that seem to define her - "Lost in Space" (1998), "Say It Ain't So" (2001) and "Killing Me Softly" (2002). Now, add "Cake" to the mix.

Cameron and director Nisha Ganatra don't even bother masking their film's hackneyed plot. Which is a shame because they have a talented cast. There's Graham, Taye Diggs, Cheryl Hines, Sandra Oh (who's terrific on TV's "Grey's Anatomy") and Sarah Chalke, who knows what it's like to do genuinely funny comedy on TV's "Scrubs," which, for my money, is the best half-hour on TV.

Graham, much like Roberts, isn't a masterful dramatic actress. Her turn as English hooker Mary Kelly in "From Hell" (2001) was admirable, albeit miscast. But Graham clearly knows how to play comedy. She just needs good material. Her nine-episode stint as Dr. Molly Clock on "Scrubs" proved as much.

There's never a moment in "Cake" when you think, "Oh, this is different." Cameron's script is so atrociously lazy that she never bothers to include even the slightest of surprises. Poor Graham flays about buoyantly in a valiant, yet futile, attempt to elicit laughs out of this bad script.

In "Cake," she's Pippa McGee, a spunky, care-free travel writer suddenly forced to take over her dad's magazine - a bridal periodical. There's some humor in the decor of the magazine's offices as this sprightly, independent feminist tries to handle things. But the story is so clunky and her two love interest so unreal and dull, there's not even a modicum of sense to this whole enterprise. Pippa spends such little time with the men that it's asking a lot of us to believe either would work.

As much fun as it is to see the luminescent Graham bounce around, she certainly deserves better than this mediocre fare.
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9/10
Not your Mom's Romantic Comedy
desifinch17 November 2005
Romantic comedies usually suck, but I have to admit I was very touched by this film which I randomly got to see at a test screening in Santa Monica. Heather Graham was excellent (yeah, she really was...maybe she can actually act...strange, huh?), the supporting cast is HILARIOUS (HELLO!!!! Sandra Oh, Cheryl Hines, Sarah Chalke and Taye Diggs -- how has this never been in the theater near me?? I keep looking...where the heck is it?), and the story was really sweet and fun. Who doesn't like the idea of a girl choosing between two great looking guys? I don't think it's the best script ever, but the pacing was good, the acting was good, the shots looked nice, and I loved the ending. Very feel good. With heart. Totally worth seeing.
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5/10
Pornography for Sorority Freshmen...
tccandler25 February 2006
Heather Graham stars in this pretty pink lace bow of a movie, alternately flashing her pearly white smile and puppy dog eyes from scene to scene. One gets the feeling that watching the straight-to-DVD release with you are thousands of sorority girls braiding each other's hair while wearing fluffy animal slippers and pretending to cry.

Graham plays Pippa McGee (a movie name if there ever was one), a free spirit (slut) with a penchant for impulsive decisions (one night stands) and globe hopping adventures (inability to commit). We get the prerequisite explanations for her issues: A mother who died when she was a teenager; A distant father who is too hard on her; A group of friends who have an unspoken pact to remain independent and strong without the help of a man.

Pippa returns from one of her freelance adventure trips to find her father on the verge of a heart-attack and in need of someone to help run one of his magazines... Surprise, surprise... It is a bridal magazine named 'Wedding Bells'. And isn't that just the dream job for girls who wear pink pajamas? Needless to say, the magazine causes her problems being that she stands for everything that the magazine condemns. Her first issue is an unqualified disaster.

Then, as per screen writing 101, she meets two guys who will inevitably form the other two corners of the film's love triangle. Taye Diggs plays the studly photographer who shares Pippa's love for non-committal sex and fun. David Sutcliffe plays the straight-laced business man who wants more from Pippa than a quickie in the hot-tub.

I am one of the biggest romantics you'll meet, but even I have nothing but respect for singles who feel that marriage is a ludicrous institution that is either ultimately doomed to fail or descend into a comfortable acceptance of routine and safe boredom. This film seems to be championing the notion that women shouldn't feel the need to 'find a man' in order to feel complete. But the final act pulls the rug from under that notion and the movie fizzles into a standard rom-com riddled with "You Go Girlfriend" scenes and cheesy b-grade love songs.

Now... I think that Heather Graham is utterly underrated as an actress because of a few choice roles as the quintessential ditzy blonde with big boobs. But she has actually been far better than people give her credit for in films like "Boogie Nights", "Two Girls & a Guy", "Sidewalks of New York", "Swingers" & "The Guru". She is quite easily capable of carrying a film with energy and charisma. She is even good in this fluffy film despite having little to work with in terms of a script.

I liked the pace of the film. I thought Heather was fun to watch. The romances are cutesy, if not substantive. The 'friends' are amusing from time to time, led by the always refreshing Sandra Oh (Sideways) and Sarah Chalke (Scrubs). Diggs and Sutcliffe are nice counterpoints to one another. And the overall production was colorfully distracting enough to merit a passable grade. But there isn't anything here to really chew on... well hardly anything. "Cake" is a high-school cheerleader's wet dream of what life might become. I say we let her have that dream before she gets knocked up by the college senior who will dump her, leaving her to drop out of school as a single mom applying for a job at Taco Bell.

TC Candler IndependentCritics.com
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2/10
plain boring
awesom-o40006 March 2006
I'm not proud to say I just watched this awful piece of crap. I'm a lazy person, thats why i didn't turn it off.

The plot is a copy of what you have seen all to many times, it's so predictable it could make a swiss watch jealous. The acting is nothing special, verging on overacting in some places. A lot of the situations in the movie are completely non-believable, the characters do not develop, and if there even was an attempt to make characters that can be related to, it failed.

To say something positive, the pace of the movie is OK so if you are forced to watch it or you put it on by accident, know that it will actually end.

Bottom line is there's not a single memorable moment in this film, but if you hate yourself and feel like some mortification of the mind is in order then go ahead and rent it
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9/10
Sharp, smart and sexy...
frederickalan14 January 2006
I was skeptical at the screening of Cake (not my kind of movie, generally) but was pleasantly surprised. Smarter, funnier and sharper than most of the romantic comedies I've seen. Heather Graham gave her best performance since Rollergirl, and Cheryl Hines and Sandra Oh were great--why aren't they in everything? The movie works as a light romantic comedy (the setting--at a bridal magazine--puts us firmly in that genre), but has more substance than the genre generally allows (or even needs...). The characters all felt real--as if they were dealing with actual real-life concerns, but were just more attractive and better dressed than normal people. Moments that would have been lost in the hands of a less skilled and attentive director (Heather Graham running, falling to the ground and muttering that her boobs hurt, Cheryl Hines trying to get sit on a waterbed with a full martini glass complaining it was like cirque de soleil) were priceless. Good fun, great acting, exciting director to watch.
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9/10
Loved it!
wmayy22 November 2005
Got to see a screening of CAKE. I didn't know what to expect as I had no idea what it was even about. I found myself completely enthralled. It was so funny and moving. Heather Graham looked beautiful as always. I think this is the best she's ever been in a movie that I've seen. Taye Diggs was great in it as well. All the actors were very funny in that not over the top way. Visually, I thought it was very unique for a romantic comedy. It wasn't schmaltzy and sappy and predictable like other ones. It had a unique style which I would commend the director for.

I also loved the soundtrack! The music rocked. I highly recommend catching this movie when it comes out.
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10/10
heather graham is so adorable!
dpager18 November 2005
There are far too few romantic comedies out there. Cake sure hit the spot. I could watch it over and over and over!! I saw a screening of this film in LA. The story wasn't all that original, but I found myself laughing the whole way through. The cast was tons of fun. Heather Graham is adorable, and she does a great job in this role. And Taye Diggs was yummy as usual. In general the performances were all very layered and a lot deeper than what I expected from a romantic comedy. The direction was more artful than most. It was shot beautifully. Anyway, bottom line is that I wish the script had been a bit stronger but it was a fun ride anyway. I can't wait for this to be in theaters!!
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6/10
Cake — A wedding magazine run by and anti-wedding cynic Peter Pan woman
AvidClimber24 January 2013
Cake is about finding out that however lofty your ideals maybe, you can always be wrong.

This comedy, as all good Hollywood productions, starts by over doing the traits of its main character. At some point, her zealousness runs her into a wall and then the movie starts to be a bit more realistic, a bit more sensible.

The story itself is simple, the plot elements unsurprising, and, even if the dialogs hold their own and are funny, they are uninventive.

The big attraction of the movie is that it is entertaining, and it doesn't screw up. You'll spend a good evening if you're interested in seeing an over idealistic, over energized young woman make a mess of things and then save the day in true Hollywood fashion.
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2/10
Something you've seen before, probably in a better version.
charybdis-m3 April 2008
I can't help but wonder why a fairly good actor has to be in such an awful film. Maybe the producers thought that it would lift the movie to a higher level or something. In my opinion, Taye Diggs is brought down a level or two.

I've seen him in much better movies (like Equilibrium, for example - he was GOOD in that one. Really). Heather Graham, on the other hand, I really haven't. Know what to expect - pretty darling Heather in sexy outfits parading across the screen while there is no sign of any talent. Ever. I won't even bother discussing the storyline, it's something you've seen before, only probably better. Notting Hill, Bridget Jones' Diary, need I say more?

I found this film in a 40-DVD-box together with many other low-rated movies, but it was cheap, so I don't really care.

I rate this film a 2 out of 10, because it's nice to watch if you are completely bored out of your mind and have absolutely nothing else to do. But then again, for such occasions there are still better movies to watch.
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9/10
Another great Nisha Ganatra film
jnorling-112 February 2006
I've been a fan of Nisha Ganatra's since Chutney Popcorn and have been eagerly awaiting her latest film, so I was really glad to get the opportunity to see a screening of Cake. While romantic comedy isn't exactly my favorite genre, I really enjoyed this one. Sometimes a lighthearted, well paced, fun film is just what you need for a little pick me up and Cake is that kind of a film. It was well directed and the whole cast was great. Heather Graham and Taye Diggs were wonderful, but Sandra Oh as Lulu was my favorite. They all had me laughing out loud. This was a really fun and enjoyable film. I've already recommended it to friends; when will it be in a theater near me?
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10/10
Wonderful Movie; The flip side to Heather Graham's Committed
MosHr18 November 2005
Heather Grahama plays a 29 year old woman - beautiful, smart however eschewing any sort of commitment such that she has never had a single relationship in her life. And, it turns out she ends up working in a wedding magazine with some very handsome men - one who doesn't date (but does everything else) and one who's pure boyfriend material.

What's wonderful is the cast and the resplendent Heather Graham. Swathed in pink and with the effervescent Heather Graham, the movie is funny and heart-warming; Heather Graham looks amazing, sexy in her dresses without being horribly pornographic as "Killing me Softly". The story is always engaging and funny; especially as the wonderful cast execute it with richness and emotional texture.

I highly recommend this movie to people who like Heather Graham and who like romantic comedies.
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9/10
Cake is a delicious romantic comedy
wigsmartonline16 November 2005
I saw "Cake" at a screening in Los Angeles. I thought Heather Graham gave an incredible performance. Before this film I hadn't considered Graham to be a great actor but it seems with the right direction her performance can be fantastic. As a camera person I'm often distracted from enjoying films which have bad camera work. I thought the film looked gorgeous and the great cinematography made the experience that much more enjoyable. I'm not a big romance film fan, but the pre-screening buzz was good for this film and I'm happy I went. This movie was much funnier than most romantic comedies released into theaters. Cake is a movie I can, and will, watch twice. When this movie hits theaters, it will definitely be a girls night out event for me and my friends.
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10/10
so witty! a real feel good film!
moranj-114 November 2005
just when you thought love was dead...and just when you thought witty movies were dead! this is a real feel good movie...the cast is fabulous and there is always something to laugh about. it's so subtle and well done! Cheryl Hines is a crack up...and the leads were surprisingly humorous... it was written well, cast well, and directed well...you are right along for the ride...wondering how it will turn out, never a dull moment. give yourself a treat and watch this one...i felt like i was back in high school laughing at Sixteen Candles...or Breakfast Club. There are so many movies out today that just aren't funny...it seems very few actors can pull off that subtle wit, this movie was full of it. :)
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2/10
Shocking
aggrobinson17 April 2007
Dear oh dear, its hard to accept that drivel like this can actually made into a film. I guess there will always be people who like completely predictable and boring romantic comedies such as this one. Heather Graham's acting is at times laughable and I think she only gets by in the business due to her beauty. Comedies such as Notting Hill,Wedding crashers, about a boy, sliding doors or the break up are examples of where a rom com can work by trying something a little different to attempt to surprise a viewer but films such as this should not be made. Oh well, maybe Hollywood will learn someday!!!! Im not sure why i watched this film as ratings were pretty low and it certainly didn't appeal to me but i always like to give a film a chance to respond to its critics and its always good to see it for yourself and then make a judgement. HOwever in this case I would have to say do not bother with this poor attempt at a romantic comedy.
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4/10
weak execution of nothing rom-com
SnoopyStyle20 January 2016
Pippa McGee (Heather Graham) is a globe-trotting travel writer. She comes home to be her friend Jane's bridesmaid along with best friend Lulu (Sandra Oh). When her father has a heart attack, she has to take over his magazine Wedding Bells. It's the last magazine she's likely to read and she dismisses marriage. She has a love triangle with photographer Hemingway Jones (Taye Diggs) and her father's right hand man Ian Grey (David Sutcliffe).

This feels and looks more like a TV movie. The bridal magazine world looks unreal. Heather Graham is not good rom-com material. She's flailing around in this movie. None of it is funny. The romantic chemistry isn't there. This is the most disappointing because these are really beautiful human specimens. This is a traditional rom-com done poorly.
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1/10
Aren't there any new ideas in Hollywood?
Sonofamoviegeek23 January 2013
I just saw this on Lifetime and lost count of the number of rom-com formulas (formulae?) this movie employs. Where should I start? With the airhead 30-something woman who can't settle down or the requisite stereotype three friends who also can't commit or the well-to-do father who can't communicate with their daughters - I could go on and I will. There's also Heather Graham's jiggly scenes where she tracks down David Sutcliffe whilst he is out jogging. Aren't there any new ideas in Hollywood? Speaking of Heather Graham, she's listed as Executive Producer. I think that is because she inserted a bunch of irrelevant-to-the-plot references to her thoracic assets at various places, along with the aforementioned jiggles. Maybe she wanted to prove she has behind-the-scenes talents but all they proved was that she can't come up with a new idea either.

The final in dignity was that this turkey was made in Canada so it had to be shown on Canadian TV to meet the CanCon regulations. CanCon is probably why Sandra Oh was forced to debase her talents.

Overall evaluation: I've seen better entertainment in high school auditoriums.
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2/10
Boooriiing
lisamaria21 May 2006
This movie was so boring I didn't know if I should cry or sleep.

The idea of an independent single girl took no wind at any point as this girl simply gave in to everything and everyone, instead of showing any of spunk and spirit she was supposed to have. I am not entirely sure what the message here was supposed to be - happiness lies in meringue wedding? The originality of the side-characters was expressed through their "weird" appearances. The "baddie" was a wedding-crazed spinster. The conflict? - non-existing. The characters didn't grow or learn, they simply gave in in front of the convention.

Uninspiring, and I'm afraid, very very American in its blind idolisation of the white-wedding bliss.
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6/10
Not a cakewalk, but romcom fans will probably like it
inkblot111 May 2008
Philippa "Pippa" McGee (Heather Graham) is the freelance journalist daughter of a respected publishing giant. One of dad's publications is Wedding Bells, an advice rag for those who intend to walk down the aisle in the near future. Pippa's mother was once involved with this particular magazine but she passed away when her daughter was but 13. After her mother's death, Pippa developed many of her free-spirited ways, including her personal rejection of a "happily ever after" marriage. Instead, Pippa covers such events as Spain's running of the bulls and her only romantic encounters are of the very short-lived variety. A close friend (Sandra Oh) helps the freelancer through life's rough moments. But, after her father suffers a heart attack, Pippa decides to help him out by becoming the new editor of Wedding Bells. This displeases most of the staff, including a sales director, Roxanne (Cheryl Hines) and a handsome financial adviser, Ian (David Sutcliffe). Yet, although Pippa's first efforts fail badly, she learns quickly from her mistakes and is determined to succeed. She may even discover some lessons in love and marriage that she has previously dismissed as nonsense. Will there be a rose-colored future for our Pippa and her magazine? This is a slight but satisfying romcom for those insatiable fans of the genre. Graham excels in her role as the vagabond beauty who explores new truths about her own existence while Sutcliffe is a charming, attractive foil to Pippa's flighty personality. Oh, Hinds, Taye Diggs and others also offer fine turns as the supporting cast members. The scenery is quite nice, as are the costumes and production values. As for the story, it takes a lot of twists and turns, sometimes to excess, but ends up tying ups its loose ends nicely. If you are not a fan of romantic comedy, this one will probably have you biting your fingernails. But, for those who adore those funny tales of love, this one will "take the cake" for you.
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2/10
Badly Done Paint-By-Number Movie
August199124 March 2006
First of all, let me as a Canadian taxpayer express a minor rant. I am shocked and appalled that my tax dollars were used to make this trash. On open-minded days, I am willing to consider the idea that taxpayers should assist artistic endeavours. "Cake" is not, in any sense whatsoever, one of these endeavours.

I have no problem with formulaic romantic comedies. Garry Marshall, for example, is a modern master of the genre. What's to criticize? A Hallmark card is a Hallmark card. Well, "Cake" is a Hallmark card drawn by the worst student in a Grade 8 art class. I blame the director. The script is not bad, and the actors seem capable. Rather, the wrong take was included, or the good take never made. The direction and editing are lacking.

Lastly, I would have given this movie one star except for the few isolated points of humour. Two examples: I laughed when Heather Graham's cellphone played "Boogie Nights" and when someone suggested that the business would move to Scarborough.
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9/10
I've already recommended it to friends.
crimyla2 December 2005
The movie's cast is great. I am a shameless Heather Graham fan. Heather Graham never looked more gorgeous than she does in this film! I have been in love with Sandra Oh since Sideways. Why don't we see more of her?

I love it when a romantic COMEDY is actually FUNNY. So many of them just suck today.

Even though script was predictable I appreciated the quick pacing and the sharp performances. Every time the movie was about to go down a cheesy road- the director cut and pulled back just in time to save it from being too dramatic and annoyingly sentimental.

I've already recommended it to friends.
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7/10
Standard romantic comedy, but done just a little bit better
napierslogs23 July 2010
"Cake" is just your standard romantic comedy but with a few elements better than expected, it's actually pretty good.

Free-spirited Pippa (Heather Graham), a travel writer, takes a job at her dad's wedding magazine. Looks like her life is going to get put in order with men always just around the corner. The plot is tiresome, cliché, and completely predictable. But surprisingly, the dialogue is pretty good. With the right amount of clever comedy that can actually make you laugh, and sexy and romantic relationships, this romantic comedy is enjoyable.

The charismatic Heather Graham makes it better than it otherwise would be, and a number of recognizable supporting actors (Taye Diggs, David Sutcliffe from "Gilmore Girls", Sarah Chalke from "Scrubs" and Sandra Oh from "Grey's Anatomy") keep you watching until their next scene.

"Cake" has a weak story that has been done before, but saved by witty dialogue, and charming and appealing actors, it's worth a look, especially since it's on TV frequently.
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1/10
An endless succession of girls giggling over other girls' nuptials...pity the grooms
moonspinner5522 August 2008
Heather Graham isn't a bad actress, but in the last few years she has taken nothing but hand-me-down roles in low-rent comedies and one poorly-received television show. This laughable item, replete with Julia Roberts/Meg Ryan/Diane Lane overtones, represents the nadir of the chick flick, the proverbial last resort for Lifetime when it can't scrape up anything better for a Tuesday afternoon. A trampy hussy stops living large long enough to check in with her corporate magnate father, but upon her arrival he has a heart attack; such is the hilarious chain of events which takes this cynical party girl from traveling the world to running one of daddy's magazines--a bridal spread. Somehow, two attractive men are drawn to Graham once she gets serious and buckles down, with the caveat being that we can all get what we want as long as we do the work. I'd rather see the escapades of a trampy hussy in Europe... NO STARS from ****
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8/10
Funny!
sweetdiva_cara26 March 2006
Heather Graham playing a bad girl with Sandra Oh to back her up = funny!

The stereotypes were played to a laughable "T". Taye Diggs in anything sex's up the quotient and Heather Graham was beautiful and real in all her curves.Sure it was formula-like. Sure the casting of the serious hot guy could have been a little better, and the daddy/daughter thing was a little forced. This was definitely an entertaining movie and better than most of the solely-for-entertainment films that come out of Canada.

I think it's a great step in the right direction for Canadian production and would love to see more like it.

Can I get the soundtrack, please??
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Witty and capturing!
stefanie-ring30 November 2005
I am a very big fan of Nisha Ganatra! Each one of her films have been brilliant...from Chutney Popcorn to Cosmopolitan...Nisha has given the audience a fresh look at making movies! I absolutely love her style of directing! Cake, not only has an amazing script, but Nisha did such a great job capturing all the nuances of it! I loved the story and I feel that it was very well played out. Each actor brought something fantastic to their character and to the story. It is great to see the ensemble come together and really play off of one another. This is something that everyone, in way or another, can relate too! Overall, a seriously great movie and another fantastic success for Nisha!
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