Sitting in Bars with Cake is based on a true story. The screenplay was written by Audrey Shulman, based on her book by the same name. It’s her story. Trish Sie directed this tale of love and friendship. Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned.
In Sitting in Bars with Cake, Jane (Yara Shahidi) and Corinne (Odessa A’zion) are lifelong best friends. They’re living in L.A., sharing an apartment and their lives. They work in the same place. Jane, who is supposed to be applying to law school, works in the mail room. Jane secretly loves baking cakes and would rather do that than go to law school. Corinne works upstairs in a better job. Bette Midler plays her boss.
Corinne is the outgoing, social one. She’s the life of the party, the one who gets all the attention. Jane is more introverted. Corinne decides to help Jane attract the attention of men. They decide to take Jane’s cakes to bars and give out free slices. They actually get away with this and plan out an itinerary of bars and cakes to fill an entire year.
Part way through the year of sitting in bars with cakes, Corinne gets sick. If you have images of Beaches or Miss You Already going through your mind, you aren’t wrong.
The remainder of the film is about Corinne’s treatment, about them trying to live a normal life, and about Corinne’s ultimate end. The power of their friendship is the heart of the story and it’s a beautiful depiction of love and friendship between two women.
Corinne’s parents, Fred (Ron Livingston) and Ruth (Martha Kelly), are around a lot. Corinne refuses to go back home with them. Instead the parents camp out in L.A. in Corinne and Ruth’s small apartment.
Jane’s parents, Tasha (Adina Porter) and Isaac (Navid Negahban), are in the dark about Jane’s desire to skip law school and develop a baking business. Jane can never work up the courage to tell them, so Corinne blurts it out one night when they are all having dinner.
If I’d been doing the casting, I’d have put Odessa A’zion in the introverted role and made Yara Shahidi the bubbly, outgoing one. But the choices by the real casting director were good ones. Both of them did an excellent job with their parts.
When you lose someone you love, they are still built into you. In your heart and soul, in your memories, almost in your DNA. Although this was a sad movie in many ways, it was also full of hope and love. For people lucky enough to have this kind of friendship with someone, the film is a reminder to appreciate it and cherish it. Life is fragile. Love it while you’ve got it.
You can watch the film on Prime Video. Let me know what you thought of it if you do watch it.