‘Sitting in Bars with Cake’ movie review: A tasty tearjerker with its heart in the right place

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A still from ‘Sitting in Bars with Cake’

A still from ‘Sitting in Bars with Cake’
| Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani

Another cake-themed movie on Amazon Prime Video! Remember Red White & Royal Blue’s “butter-cream summit”? In this adaptation of Audrey Shulman’s cookbook and blog, Sitting in Bars with Cake, (Shulman has also written the script) two 20-somethings, Jane (Yara Shahidi) and Corinne (Odessa A’zion), navigate love and life in Los Angeles (not New York).

Sitting in Bars with Cake (English)

Director: Trish Sie

Cast: Yara Shahidi, Odessa A’zion, Martha Kelly, Bette Midler, Ron Livingston, Simone Recasner, Will Ropp, Adina Porter, Navid Negahban, Reshma Gajjar, Charlie Morgan Patton

Runtime: 119 minutes

Storyline: An extrovert convinces her introverted and talented baker friend to take homemade cakes to bars as an icebreaker

The childhood friends are diametrically opposite in temperament. Where Corrine is an extrovert determined to climb up the cutthroat ladder of the music industry, presided over by Benita (Bette Midler) who covers ideas in “keto and contempt”, Jane is shy and retiring, studying to apply in prestigious law schools.

Jane has a secret superpower though — she bakes amazing cakes. When she comes to Corrine’s birthday party at a bar with a cake she baked, she is suddenly the cynosure of all eyes. While Jane dismisses it as a fluke (even men laughing at her convection oven joke — I’d never joke about one), Corrine sees the possibilities.

Jane and Corrine decide on a project of going to different bars every week for a year with a homemade cake as a way to meet men. And so there is a chart demarking the different areas of LA, the bars and clientele in those particular bars, and the cakes that would work there. The chart has the bar’s name, the cake and the result (a date, a phone number or more).

The first cake Jane bakes, a towering red velvet and cream cheese concoction, gets her a not-very-nice picture from a man at the bar. Jane and Corrine persist and are repaid with some nice guys and experiences. Along the way, of going to bars and offering slices of delicious cake to complete strangers, Jane gains confidence, maybe enough to talk to the cute boy at the office, Owen (Rish Shah), where she delivers mail.

And just as everything is puttering along nicely on buttercream and frosting, comes Corrine’s terrible, life-altering diagnosis. Though Jane feels they should put the “cakebarring” on hold, Corrine insists they go ahead with it, as she needs it as much as Jane does.

Through the year, Jane and Corrine learn about choices, following dreams, friendship and lingerie — Corrine dismisses Jane’s underwear as the “chastity collection from the Von Trapp family singers.”

It is a learning curve for the girls’ parents, too. Corrine’s parents, Ruth (Martha Kelly) and Fred (Ron Livingston), have to let Corrine choose her path as do Jane’s high-achieving parents, Tasha (Adina Porter) and Isaac (Navid Negahban). While sometimes the bubblegum tunes are a bit too loud and the tears a tad too much, overall, Sitting in Bars with Cake has its heart in the right place.

Based on a true story as the title card charmingly proclaims, the film is a tasty tearjerker from the raspberry chocolate torte through the sage ricotta, chilli chocolate, and pina colada cake in a coconut, to the cherry CBD cake.

Sitting in Bars with Cake is currently streaming on Prime Video

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