Koch on Film

By Ed Koch

The Cake Eaters (+)

This small, dark movie reminded me of some French films in which sex overwhelmingly motivates the individual characters. Sex has a hold on the individuals in this picture, and its presence solves the psychic pain and problems besetting them. Rather than the resplendent settings and costumes of a French historical movie, this film takes place in rural New York. It is worth seeing.

Central to the plot is a young man in his 20s, Beagle Kimbrough (Aaron Stanford), who works in a school cafeteria and for several years took care of his mother (never shown) who died of cancer. Beagle’s father, Easy (Bruce Dern), runs a butcher shop, and his brother, Guy (Jayce Bartok), has just returned from New York City where he failed after several years to make a living as a musician.

Guy had an unfulfilled romance with Stephanie (Miriam Shor). He is looking to rekindle that relationship with the now-married woman. Easy has been having an affair with a wealthy woman, Marge Kaminski (Elizabeth Ashley). Marge is the grandmother of Georgia (Kristen Stewart), a high school student who is suffering from a degenerative disease that has destroyed in great part her ability to walk. Georgia is determined to have sex before she dies and has chosen Beagle as the person to have it with. The circumstances of the couplings are sweet in one case, raw in another, and rejection in the third.

The film is the directorial debut of Mary Stuart Masterson, a fine actress who has appeared in numerous films including “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Benny & Joon.” I saw it at the Cinema Village on East 12th Street in Manhattan. I doubt it will be around for long, so see it soon if you can.