Tessa (Melanie Scrofano) and Marie (Christina Cuffari) are two sisters who wind up moving back home with their mother (Paula MacPherson) and grandmother (Jocelyne Zucco). That’s not entirely unusual now, but Tessa and Marie can’t stand each other, and the moment they’re in the house at the same time, things get crazy. They spend more time fighting with each other instead of trying to work on their own lives, and it drives their mom and grandma out of the house. Left alone together, the sisters realize that they’re going to have to grow up eventually.
Within the first five minutes of Mangiacake, you’re going to find your patience tested. Tessa and Marie are two of the most obnoxious, annoying, and unlikeable characters that have ever graced a cinema screen. The problem is that this doesn’t let up for almost the entire running time of the film. They screech at each other constantly, like two six year old kids fighting over toys in the sandbox. They slap, punch, kick, throw, tease, and trick each other over and over again, until you just can’t take it any longer.
This fighting dominates the film, making it very difficult to not only care about the characters, but to also pay attention to the dialogue, story, or other people around Tessa and Marie. Perhaps that’s a good thing as MacPherson’s character spends much of her time onscreen drinking wine and playing a mother figure who is anything but, while Zucco is horribly miscast as a grandma, when it’s obvious that she’s way too young for that role.
It’s not unusual to find characters that are hard to like, but Mangiacake takes it to an extreme that is hard to recover from. We all know that eventually someone will have a change of heart, and instead of being an immature fool, the characters will finally grow up. The difficulty is in the fact that this isn’t going to happen at the halfway mark. It’s not even a suggestion by that time, which means we’re stuck with the two six year old kids trapped in two nearing thirty year old bodies.
There are a few good jokes sprinkled throughout the film, and when things calm down in the last 15 minutes, you can appreciate what’s going on a little more. By that point, it’s a little too late though, and some viewers may not want to even stick around to see what happens.