A Piece Of Cake is a short comedy film about a dad who's trying to get silver ball decorations for his daughter's birthday cake. He discovers that the small candies are illegal in the state of California. The dad does not wish to let down his little girl. He embarks on a dark journey through the criminal underworld of his town to make sure his daughter's wish is granted.
If you've ever seen a comedy from the 1990s about a dad then the story of A Piece of Cake will be very familiar. The short treads similar ground to Jingle All The Way. A dad who's always busy with his job is constantly letting down his child so he takes drastic action to make sure he doesn't do it again. It's been done a hundred times before. This is simply because it works. It's a very relatable story, a lot of parents can get too caught up in looking after their children that they forget to love them. That's why A Piece Of Cake is a nice little film. Though at some points it feels more like a YouTube comedy sketch than a short film.
The writing in this short is fairly basic and the comedy quite obvious. All the characters are either quirky and weird or they're normal people who are freaked out by the quirky people. This is a common trope in a lot of modern amateur sketch writing. Though the difference here is that the main character becomes both of these archetypes throughout the course of the film. The film gets funnier once the second act kicks in. A group of dads desperate for the silver balls is a highlight. All are quite manic in their own way but are clearly suffering from some real problems.
The YouTube aesthetic transfers over to the acting as well. None of the performances here are anything like what Steve Carell or Jim Carrey could do with these roles. This isn't to say they're bad, just passable. As with the writing, no one in A Piece Of Cake is hysterical. In fact, most people other than the main dad feel like they're simply just reading the script. The aforementioned group of dads is quite well performed though.
A Piece Of Cake does have a lot of heart. Through a lot of the film, you do route for the dad. It's a little stressful when he's screaming in his car. You feel anxious when he's searching desperately around supermarkets. You feel happy for him at the end when he's talking to his daughter. This is possibly due to some quite unique directing that slightly pushes this above a YouTube standard.
As a short film, A Piece Of Cake, does all it sets out to do. It tells a good story with a nice twist. It has good emotional beats while also being pretty funny in parts. It's not really very special, but it certainly isn't a waste of time watching it.
Dir: The Bragg Brothers
Scr: The Bragg Brothers
Cast: Rich Sommer, Natalie Britton, Riona O'Donnell
Prd: RD Delgado, Lana Link, Rob Pfaltzgraff
DOP: Adam Lee
Music: James Newbury