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Babycakes (1989)

February. 14,1989
| Drama Comedy Romance

Grace is an overweight mortuary cosmetician who falls in love with Rob, a handsome subway train conductor who doesn't even know she exists. When she finally devises a way to meet him, they discover that although they are physically different, they have a lot more in common than they think.


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I have mixed feelings about this movie. On the one hand, I love to see the underdog win, especially as she is portrayed in this movie. On the other, the movie rushes to a close that leaves many loose ends, and ultimately makes some of the action seem a bit immoral.Grace (Ricki Lake) is the overweight daughter of widowed Al (John Karlen). As the movie opens, Al is marrying Wanda (Betty Buckley), a woman who seems to delight in talking about Grace's weight problem in euphemistic terms. Al seems oblivious to how hurtful his new wife is to his daughter. Grace works as a make up artist for a funeral home, an irony which is not lost on her. On her commute to and from work every day, she sees a handsome subway conductor (Craig Sheffer), whom she pines after. In spite of all the unpleasantry in her life, and a best friend, Keri (Nada Despotovich), who is doom and gloom personified, Grace has a surprising upbeat attitude about life. As the holidays approach, she decides it's time to make some positive changes in her life, looking into becoming a cosmetologist, and deciding it is time to meet the subway conductor that she dreams of. His name turns out to be Rob, and the audience knows before Grace does that he is unhappily engaged to a rather pushy woman named Olivia (Cynthia Dale). While Olivia is out of town, Grace puts her plan to meet Rob into action, with hilarious, touching, and ultimately humiliating results. Can Grace pick up the pieces and go on with her life? Can Rob actually marry Olivia? Or will fate throw them together after all? The biggest problem I have with this movie is that it completely ignores the issue that Grace is attempting to snare a man that is already taken. Granted, Grace doesn't know this at first, but when she finds out, she doesn't seem to care. Her attitude is that she will enjoy her time with him, and not worry about tomorrow, thus when tomorrow comes crashing in in the form of a very angry Olivia, I was more inclined to say "I told you so" to Grace than to comfort her. Likewise, I needed to see more of Rob working himself up to getting out of his relationship with Olivia. He just suddenly changes his mind, and shows up at the end of the movie asking to be with Grace, which is hard to swallow, even though the audiences wants to see them together. Finally, I can't imagine why Grace values Keri's friendship. Keri forces her to choose between friends, and then betrays Grace. Odd behavior from someone who is supposed to be your most trusted confidant. All of it added up to a somewhat unbelievable plot, which could have been fixed with a minimal amount of effort. Things might have worked better if Grace hadn't discovered Rob was engaged until she actually met his fiancé. And it definitely would have worked better if we had seen a scene where Rob finally tells Olivia that he wants nothing to do with her anymore, before going to tell Grace he wants to be with her, and really having to convince her to take him.The acting is a mixed bag. Lake does a nice job with Grace, although this is a similar character to Tracy in Hairspray. She contrasts Grace's sunny optimism very nicely with the difficulties she has with her family. Karlen and Buckley struggle to rise above bad material, but don't quite get there. Sheffer merely comes off as confused and unsure, while both Despotovich and Dale bristle with believable malice.I very much enjoy seeing the underdog have her day, and this is an underdog you can't help liking. But there is much that needs fixing in this movie, and the fixes are so easy that you wonder why somebody didn't catch them in the first place. So, enjoy the movie. Celebrate the triumph of this underdog, just ignore the lack of depth to the story.


What can I say Babycakes is a feel good movie.I love all of Ricky Lake's work.She has a tendency to act in all these types of movies.I never get bored of watching them.Babycakes is a warmly romantic movie that shows the size of a person does not matter. True love can be found.Love does not recognize size but the person within.I recommend watching this, and all her movies you won't be disappointed.A real love story that is down to earth.People with blue collar jobs trying to live in the real world.Love is found and felt by this couple.This movie is about a woman named Grace who wants to prove to her stepmother that she can get a boyfriend by bringing Rob home for dinner.Not only is Rob attractive,he is also very sensitive.Rob is also confused on his own relationship with his girlfriend.Grace opens his eyes to what is important.The bottom line is Rob and Grace,not what everyone else thinks.


Rikki Lake proves to be a great and touching actress. She proved she was funny in "Hair Spray" but proves she could make us cry! In this movie she plays a young woman who works in the morge! Not a happy place. Her best friend is a "world in ending" type. In this Love seems to be in the air for everyone! Its the holidays and everyone seems to be in love. Now working in the morge doesn't make life any rosier! After her dad gets married she lies about having a boyfriend and she gets a little depressed. Later on before she knows it she is smitten with a man that drives a train! She then will do anything to get a date from him! The co-stars in this movie are all great in the roles they play! Betty Buckley is just perfect! A must see!


Babycakes is a sweet film, but not nearly as good as the German movie upon which it is based, Percy Adlon's Zuckerbaby (1985). Why does Hollywood persist in making limp retreads of European gems? City of Angels, Three Men & A Baby, Pennies From Heaven, Blame It On Rio, The Vanishing, The Birdcage... Even sitcoms like All In The Family, Sanford & Son and Three's Company are just inferior retreads of Brit originals. To be fair, the Brits tried to remake The Golden Girls, and an unholy mess they made of that too... Sylvester Stallone's forthcoming remake of Get Carter fills me with abject dread. Are there no original ideas in La La Land any more?