A PIECE OF CAKE Film Review—The Birthday Black Market

Read more reviews from the 2020 Chesapeake Film Festival here.

A florescent bulb flickers, illuminating a dank, narrow stairwell. Having exhausted all of his options, a desperate father descends into the abandoned warehouse’s basement unsure of what he is about to face. At the bottom, he finds an underground network of fathers just like him. They’re all there for the same thing.


Or, as they are otherwise known: "little silver balls" used to decorate cakes and cookies. You’ve seen them on birthday and wedding cakes, but you won’t find them on grocery store shelves, at least in California. Apparently, they’ve been made illegal—a caveat unknown to Jim as he promises them to his daughter for her birthday cake. Jim is determined to avoid a “daddy promise,” a type of promise that his daughter explains is commonly broken.

It’s a situation that many parents will relate to; between meetings and work trips, Jim has unintentionally disappointed his daughter time after time. But now, he is determined to follow through. The silver balls are more than just a confectionary decoration—they will define his daughters trust, and his ability to keep it.

A PIECE OF CAKE is a Breath of Fresh Air

Named “Best Comedy” by The Chesapeake Film Festival (October 1st – 4th), A Piece of Cake is available to stream for free on the festival’s website during the festival. The film takes a very real struggle—parenting—and transplants it into the absurd, high-drama context of a black market deal. In this writer’s opinion, the result is a heartwarming study of human imperfection and unconditional love, as well as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on legal opportunists.

Overwhelmed by personal and professional responsibilities?  You too may find A Piece of Cake a refreshing reminder that we are all trying our best and, to quote Jim’s wife Claire, “that’s all anyone can hope for.” But to Jim, just this once, his best is not enough. His is a story of perseverance, unconditional love, and optimism—with a lighthearted, absurd twist. A Piece of Cake will make you smile and perhaps inspire you to cut yourself, and others, a little more slack.


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To view this film as a part of the FREE 2020 Virtual Chesapeake Film Festival (Oct. 1 - 4, 2020), visit The Chesapeake Film Festival

For more information and future screenings, visit A Piece of Cake

RUNNING TIME: 12 minutes

Written & Directed by the Bragg Brothers

Produced by: R.D. Delgado, Lana Link, Rob Pfaltzgraff, Jason W. Pompilio, Nick Reid

Starring: Betsy Baker, J.Stephen Brantley, Natalie Britton, Peter A. Hulne, Stevie Johnson, Chris Mathieu, Riona O'Donnell, Ryan Shrime, Rich Sommer, Michael Villar

Images courtesy of A Piece of Cake

Isabella Sturgis
Isabella Sturgis

About the Author: Isabella Sturgis

Isabella Sturgis is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology and Creative Writing. A lifelong fan of the arts—from film to ballet to literature—Isabella is continuously searching for her next favorite piece or production. She hopes to pursue a career in public relations, journalism, or publishing and, if she’s lucky, even publish a book of her own. In her free time, you can find her reading David Sedaris or listening to the Cats soundtrack.

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