Having Our Cake And Eating It Too

I’ll RSVP “Yes” to any party with “Cake” in the title because honestly, what woman isn’t thinking about cake at least 12 hours of the day?

So when What the Flicka was invited to a luncheon to celebrate the Blu-ray and DVD release of the darkly-funny film, “Cake,” starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick and Felicity Huffman, I of course jumped at the opportunity to chow down on some free chocolate layer cake.

“Cake” stars Aniston as Claire Bennett, a woman struggling with the aftermath of a car accident that killed her son and left her with chronic pain. The film follows Claire’s addiction to pain medication as she deals with grief, separation and thoughts of suicide. WTF’s own Felicity Huffman plays Annette, Claire’s chronic pain support group leader with her own issues.

I got a free digital copy of the Golden Globe nominated film at the luncheon, but you can buy your Blu-ray and/or DVD copy here.

The event featured special guest Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post and author of the New York Times best seller, “Thrive” and like 13 other books. Basically, she’s a BFD (big fucking deal).

When word spread through the room of bloggers that Huffington had arrived at Michael’s Restaurant in midtown Manhattan, about 30 smartphones hit the table. We were ready to take a break from our layer cake to snap an Instagram shot of the woman known for redefining success.

Upon entering the room, Huffington took a series of rapid-fire photos for press before she shared her personal connection to “Cake.”

The film touched Huffington, she said, as her own daughter once battled drug addiction, much like Aniston’s character. Huffington recounted receiving the phone call every parent dreads, from her daughter at school telling her she couldn’t breathe. Her daughter, who recently graduated from college, is now three years sober.

“The film shows us how we can move from struggle to grace,” Huffington said, highlighting that the film is about more than chronic pain.

And the event itself was about more than free lunch and an Arianna Huffington sighting. It also featured Ingrid Montecino, CEO of the Arthritis Foundation Northeast Region, who shared some insightful information about one form of chronic pain – arthritis.

Here are five key takeaways:

  1. More than 50 million people in America have arthritis. So don’t ignore those little aches and pains, Montecino said, because you could be part of that number. People with arthritis account for more than 990,000 hospitalizations each year and 44 million outpatient visits.
  1. Arthritis comes in many forms. While most of them I definitely can’t spell correctly, I’ll note that the Arthritis Foundation says there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Consult a doctor if you have joint symptoms lasting three days or more or if you have several episodes of joint symptoms within a month.
  1. Arthritis isn’t just an old people problem. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.
  1. It’s a common myth that people with arthritis shouldn’t exercise. In reality, every one pound of weight loss results in four pounds of pressure taken off the knees. Montecino recommended slow and gentle joint-friendly activities such as yoga and tai chi.
  1. Help is on its way. While there is no silver bullet to dealing with pain, Montecino said, there are a lot of promising things happening with alternative medicine.

Oh, and one last thing, in case you were wondering, the free chocolate layer cake was so good I would have paid for it. Probably.