By Crystal Lindell, Columnist
I finally got around to watching Cake, the movie about chronic pain starring Jennifer Aniston.
Aniston plays Claire Bennett, who suffers from chronic pain and has visions of Nina Collins, played by Anna Kendrick. Nina also had chronic pain, but in the opening scene we are told she killed herself by jumping off a highway overpass.
I would definitely recommend you see this movie. It’s currently playing on Netflix, and if I know anything about people with chronic pain, it’s that they all have Netflix. So get on that, and then read this.
Basically everyone in my life has recommended this movie to me.
Lots of spoilers ahead, obviously.
1. Well, I guess, since it’s on Netflix, I’ll give it a go. It’s basically free.
2. I swear if they show Jennifer Aniston “getting better” in any way I’m going to scream.
3. And I really hope she doesn’t magically “get off opioids” because that crap is not realistic at all.
4. Of course it opens on a support group.
5. Seriously, where is this support group? Because I have yet to find one for people with chronic pain anywhere near me.
6. Hey, that’s Lynette Scavo from Desperate Housewives!
7. I’m glad she’s found some work since that show ended.
8. Yay! It’s Anna Kendrick!!! I hope she sings something from Pitch Perfect in this movie.
9. Oh. Anna Kendrick killed herself.
10. That’s sad.
11. Why is this group so mad at Anna Kendrick?.
12. If you have chronic pain, and you can’t at least understand why someone would kill themselves in that situation, then you don’t actually have chronic pain.
14. Look! It’s Rachel from Friends.
15. I wonder if Ross is going to be in this too.
16. Nevermind, he’s probably on a break.
17. Ha! I crack myself up.
18. Someone should tell Claire about dry shampoo.
19. I get it, showers suck when you have chronic pain. But that’s why God invented Batiste.
20. The fact that Anna Kendrick ended up in Mexico after her suicide is actually kind of hilarious. In a dark humor kind of way.
21. Man, everything gets stuck in customs. Even Nina.
22. So Claire’s laying down in the back of the cab?
23. I’m assuming because sitting up hurts?
24. Whenever I try that I get super car sick because of all my meds.
25 I wish I had a really nice Hispanic woman to take care of me and make me quesadillas.
26. That would probably make it a lot easier to cope with my chronic pain.
27. What? The freaking support group kicked Claire out? Is that a thing? That support group sucks.
28. Lynette, I’m so disappointed in you.
29. Ug. Claire and her husband are separated. Chronic pain man. It effs up your love life.
30. I always wonder how/why people try to keep a secret stash of meds. I never have anything extra to put in a bottle behind a painting. I use all of my meds, every month.
31. Yep, trying to sleep with chronic pain is a bitch.
32 And I cry throughout the night a lot too.
33. This movie got that part right.
34. I wish I had a pool like Claire.
35. Maybe if I had a personal pool in my backyard, I could go in it and feel better.
36. Why is the pool green though. Just the evening light? It makes it look like a scummy lake.
37. And the opossum isn’t helping the vibe.
38. Seriously, I need to move to California though, where you can apparently take a dip in the middle of the night, and it’s so nice outside that you can fall asleep in a lawn chair like it’s nbd.
39. I feel like this movie is trying to make Claire seem like a bitch, but honestly, when you’re in pain and you’re riding in a car, every bump really does make you want to die.
40. I try to be nice and witty with my doctors too, just to make sure that they don’t think I’m just a drug seeker.
41. Ahh. Wine and meds. The best meal ever.
42. Also, true story, the doctor I saw at the Mayo Clinic once told me that drinking alcohol could help with my pain. So it’s not as crazy as it sounds.
43. Even chronic pain, greasy hair and a massive scars isn’t enough to repel men when it’s Jennifer freaking Aniston.
44. Congrats Claire! You get it girl!
45. Yep, having sex with chronic pain sucks.
46. How can you be physically intimate when it hurts every time someone touches you?
47. So based on Claire’s housekeeper’s reaction here, I’m going to guess that Claire’s kid died and those toys belonged to that kid.
48. Yep, this movie really is trying to make Claire look like a bitch.
49. I mean, what is up with this scene between the housekeeper and her daughter?
50. Claire’s not a bitch though. She’s just in pain.
51. And apparently, her freaking kid died.
52.Those two things would drive anyone to crazy town.
53. Yay! Anna Kendrick is back!!! I hope she sings Cups.
54. So Claire is kind of trying to kill herself with help from Anna Kendrick?
55. I can see that.
56. I think drowning would be a particularly awful way to die though.
57. Oh look! It’s that chick from the Good Wife!
58. Who was she on that show? Like an incompetent lawyer or something?
59. I wish I could get aqua therapy. There’s nothing like that where I live.
60. Yeah. I’m on Claire’s side here. I don’t think the super healthy chick in the water really understands how much it hurts.
61. Oh? Really? Someone with chronic pain hasn’t magically gotten better in six months?
63. Like I said, the healthy chick in the pool doesn’t get it.
64. Another drowning attempt.
65. See, drowning isn’t a fun way to go Claire.
66. I knew she would quit mid-way through.
67. And by “quit” I mean, “decide to live.”
68. Again with the laying down while they drive stuff.
69. Seriously, I would be throwing up all over the place if I tried that.
70. Maybe I should try that.
71. I mean, long car rides are one of my biggest issues. Would lying down in full recline position maybe help?
72. Oh, Claire’s going to go see where Anna Kendrick tried to kill herself. Interesting.
73. I really don’t think Claire is going to jump, seeing as how we’re only 23 minutes into this movie.
74. It was dream.
76. Either way, Claire lives!
77. Go Claire! You totally should sue the support group!
78. Oooo! Anna Kendrick’s husband is Australian!
79. I LOVE Australian accents!!!
80. This movie has suddenly become an episode of House Hunters. “Look what we’ve done with the kitchen!” Fun.
81. The Australian guy looks strikingly like Chris Pratt.
82. Is Chris Pratt from Australia?
83. Man, I wish I was Jennifer Aniston with chronic pain. Even Australian Chris Pratt look-a-like is into her.
84. Claire and her housekeeper are going to Tijuana!
85. I want to go Tijuana!
86. Is this real? Can you really get opioids without a prescription in Mexico?
87. Now I REALLY want to go to Tijuana.
88. I wonder how much opioids cost in Mexico.
89. The pharmacist in Tijuana just called Claire a rich, white woman. But that’s where this movie get chronic pain wrong. If all you do is sit around all day, drink wine, and pop pills, there is no way you are rich.
90. Oh, maybe Claire got some kind of insurance money when her kid died. I guess that makes sense.
91. Now I want Mexican food.
92. I really wish the only Mexican restaurant in my town hadn’t give me and my family food poisoning.
93. Crap. They got stuck in customs.
94. Just like Nina.
95. Oh. Hello there, Danny from the Mindy Project!
96. So Claire’s ex-husband was able to get them out of customs?
97. I need to find an ex-husband who can get me out of customs.
98. “Tell me a story where everything works out in the end for the evil witch.” Ok Claire.
99. Now Claire’s back at the Australian guy’s house.
100. Apparently Australian guy is cool with her randomly showing up in the middle of the night?
101. He seems weird.
102. Anna Kendrick was 31 when she died in this movie?
103. Crap. I’m 31.
104. And she already had a 5-year-old?
105. I’m so behind in life.
106. Wow, Australian guy is really mad at Anna Kendrick.
107. I feel like if Anna Kendrick was in so much physical pain that she jumped off an overpass, then you know, maybe she was in a lot of physical pain. Something her husband doesn’t seem to be taking into account.
108. But, also I get it: Grief, it sucks.
109. Billy Joel. Interesting choice Claire.
110. Ahh. More wine. Better choice Claire.
111. Now Claire is back at the Australian guy’s house AGAIN?
112. Do you think they’re ever going to have sex?
113. Or no?
114. Really? Anna Kendrick had a bunch of pain meds in the house, and they’re still just sitting there in the medicine cabinet?
115. I call B.S.
116. Oh. Hey. Anna Kendrick is back again.
117. She’s sassy in this movie.
118. Are we ever going to get Anna Kendrick’s back story?
119. Like, did she have a bad back? Or MS? Or intercostal neuralgia? Or what? Why was she in so much pain that she killed herself?
120. Hello Australian guy’s son.
121. “I like any animal that bites.” Ok again Claire.
122. And we’re back at the cemetery.
123. Now we’re in a diner. With Anna Kendrick. Seriously? If we don’t get to hear Cups in about five seconds, I’m gonna be so mad.
124. I’m so mad.
125. Claire, I hate to tell you this, but you’re officially losing your shit.
126. You’re yelling at a ghost in a diner? This does not look good for you.
127. And don’t try to blame the meds, because I take tons of meds, and I don’t see Anna Kendrick anywhere.
128. Amazing Hispanic housekeeper invited Australian guy and his son to lunch.
129. AND she’s going to make mango tamales.
130. Now I want Mexican food again.
131. And we’re back with the healthy lady in the pool who has no clue.
132. “Sometimes I suspect you think I’m just this uncooperative, old bitch who’s making all of this up.” Preach Claire.
133. Did she just ask Claire if she wants to get better?
134. Pretty sure everyone, everywhere with chronic pain WANTS to get better.
135. It’s Lynette again.
136. Really? Claire made you look unprofessional Lynette? Pretty sure you kicking her out of group was what made you look unprofessional.
137. Vodka from Costco solves everything.
138. What the heck was the point of that scene?
139. Are they just advertising Costco?
140. Woah! Claire curled her hair!!
141. You look nice Claire.
142. Oh no. Claire is going to try to lend her dead kid’s swimsuit to Australian guy’s kid.
143. This is not going to go well.
144. Nope. Didn’t go well.
145. Thank God for the nice Hispanic housekeeper.
146. She fixes everything.
147. Even Claire.
148. Australian guy, “How can you still live here?”
149. Umm, well, it’s a gorgeous house in California, with a freaking pool, that’s how.
150. This lunch is going so well.
152. Hey, that’s Lynette’s real-life husband at the door.
153. Yep, that’s pretty much how I would react in that situation if I was Claire.
154. TBH, that guy was dumb for even showing up at Claire’s house.
156. So wait, did Claire try to kill herself with the pills?
157. Or was she just trying to take a lot of pills so she would feel better?
158. And there’s the nice Hispanic Housekeeper again.
159. Seriously, I wish she was my housekeeper.
160. Hello again, Anna Kendrick.
161. I would totally want to have sex with the entire Madrid soccer team too.
162. Soccer players are hot.
163. Baking a cake is cool too, I guess.
164. Oh. A cake. I get it now.
165. “Saints don’t jump off bridges.” Don’t they?
166. Ok. Sure, Claire. You’re just going to go off your meds cold turkey. Uh huh.
167. Why would they put up a drive-in theater right next to train tracks?
168. Wouldn’t that make it hard to hear the movie?
169. Claire is totally going to try to kill herself on those tracks.
170. Anna Kendrick, “What would Saint Jude do?”
171. Claire, “I bet that son of a bitch would lay down on those tracks and just let Union Pacific put him out of his misery.”
173. Mmmmm. McDonald’s French Fries.
174. Those things are so delicious.
175. You WERE a good mother Claire.
177. We actually don’t really know.
178. And, once again the Hispanic Housekeeper to the rescue.
179. I can totally understand the housekeeper’s Spanish.
180. Well some of it.
181. I could totally get by in Argentina.
182. Really? Someone stole their car? Because their lives don’t suck enough.
183. Why does every single movie and TV show ever set in California feature a runaway?
184. Everyone must run away to LA.
185. I should run away to LA.
186. Runaway: “Gross. I won’t do porn.” Famous last words.
187. “A homemade, yellow cake with fudge frosting.” That does sound good.
188. Why can’t the housekeeper make the cake for Claire though? Because it’s American food?
189. I feel like the housekeeper could handle it. She makes mango tamales for goodness sake.
190. That is a gorgeous picture of Claire’s son.
191. Seriously, if I had a kid die AND I had chronic pain, I’d be a way worse shape than Claire.
192. Aww. Look. She got Anna Kendrick’s kid the cake that Anna Kendrick wished she could make him AND a huge shark kite.
193. Claire sat up. In the car
194. And that’s it. That’s the end.
195. Effing independent movies. They always just stop in like the middle of scene.
196. But also, chronic pain. It never ends either.
197. So maybe the best you can hope for if you have chronic pain is learning to sit upright in the car?
198. And cake.
Crystal Lindell is a journalist who lives in Illinois. She loves Taco Bell, watching "Burn Notice" episodes on Netflix and Snicker's Bites. She has had intercostal neuralgia since February 2013.
Crystal writes about it on her blog, “The Only Certainty is Bad Grammar.”
The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.