The Movie “Cake” Takes a Seat – A Back Seat

The Movie “Cake” Takes a Seat – A Back Seat

640px-Sad_WomanKurt W.G. Matthies is a writer who suffers from chronic spine disease.

He comments on chronic pain issues for National Pain Report.

The recent coverage of the movie “CAKE” by the National Pain Report and comments from fellow readers reminded me that I haven’t been to a movie theater since The Lord of the Rings premiered in our local movie theater. My lower spine has degenerated to the point where sitting for more than an hour or two in a chair without stiff lumbar support begins a pain flare that can last for days. It’s a fair bet that I’m not going to see CAKE, whose ratings have already tanked and will be disappearing soon from theatres near you.

Incidentally, I’d bet my false teeth that Gandalf the Grey suffers from chronic LBP. His stoop is typical of those who live with moderate to severe lumbar spinal stenosis. We who live with this diagnosis understand how a forward bend in the lower back opens the intrathecal space and provides some temporary pain relief. Maybe you’ve seen us in your local grocery store, leaning over our carts between the glamour shots of Jenifer Aniston’s smiling face on the tabloids that line the checkout lanes?

Frankly, I don’t trust Hollywood to represent my disease state to the American public using an actress whose largest problems seem to involve keeping Brad away from Angela as a poster child for our plight.
Show me a documentary about how chronic disease effects society, families, and the lives of those of us who live with daily pain and disease, and I’d risk a pain flare for to see that.

Some might say that Aniston, and all those responsible for this 90 minutes of melodrama is a good thing for chronic painers because it “gets the message out,” to which I reply – is this the message that represents our struggle and ignites a movement to improve care for the millions of Americans who suffer with untreated or under-treated chronic pain?

The problems of chronic pain are not invisible to a majority of our citizens. They may not be readers of the National Pain Report, but they know of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other folks who live with daily pain. Our stories need to be told, but the greatest problems we face have little to do with opioid addiction, unless you happen to share the opinion of those associated with PROPs.

Friends, chronic pain is an epidemic and the sooner we face that fact, the sooner we can do something about it. As Dr. Lynn Webster recently remarked: “We need something like a Manhattan Project. We cannot ignore the millions of Americans whose lives are torn apart by pain or accept the large number of people who are harmed from opioids. After all, each reader of this article is likely to experience chronic pain or be close to someone who does. As of now, chronic pain has the power to alter lives forever. We need a societal commitment to find safer and more effective therapies for mankind’s primal enemy – pain.”

Dr. Webster’s concept of a “Manhattan Project for pain” is an encouraging note in the cacophony of fear that reverberates through today’s pain community, and I hope to explore this intriguing idea here in the National Pain Report during the coming weeks and months.

Authored by: Kurt W.G. Matthies

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Donna I have been on the site I also have had a mri from my neurologist and it came back my spine was fin and still got bulging disc and bone spurs and degenerative disc but How can she say I have muskular skeletal disease I am still constantly in pain and suffering from fivromimi fibromialgia oops and aps aetc. Percocet, nothing is touching it and I keep hearing about hemp oil with no rhc is legal in 50 states and I am very scared bcs I am having problems walking still. Does anyone know about the oil

Donna M. Harker

Penny Jones I’m one of a few admin to a chronic pain support group on facebook we are called Fibro Friends and Support if you are ever looking for information or support please stop in
There is almost always someone who will know exactly what you are going through.

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Donna M. Harker
Donna M. Harker

Penny Jones I am not sure if you can rent the film yet or not.I’m sorry I can’t help with that but I would recommend you check it’s information on your search engine and that should tell you where it may be available.


So do you have the same opinion about an actor portraying someone with ALS or Alzheimers? Is your opinion the same for all of them or just Cake and Jennifer Anniston? I have not been able to see this movie yet but plan to see it at some point. Do you know whether or not Jennifer suffers from a chronic condition? My guess is no. If you have not seen the movie and do not know if she suffers from an invisible and/or chronic condition, how can you sit in judgement? I don’t know why the movie isn’t doing well but she wanted to take on this topic to help those living with invisible illness and I applaud her for at least wanting to help promote awareness. I have lived in pain 50 years and the fact an actor wanted to help bring awareness is incredible to me. Did you know this was based on a true story, that she worked with people living with chronic pain and depression to help her build the character in the movie? Did you know she and/or Cake were up for an award and there are numerous people who thought it there should have been an Oscar nomination as well? Perhaps you should have all the facts as well as see the movie before you pass judgement. As a life-long individual living with chronic pain, I have never dealt with depression, but I applaud Jennifer for doing her homework and helping bring awareness. Shame on you and the National Pain Report for printing without having seen the movie and without having any facts.

BL. No i have been down that road for many years of burning nerves and as well as epidural and shots i think they have made me a ginni pig,the last time I seen a pain management I believe in the lady she had 5 stars and was well known well she had shot some stuff in me of course this type you have to be sedated for this and i went through that and I felt the pain and I told her iitr it doesn’t feel right an after i was done I had a real bad migraine and could barely walk she said that was normal and I had my mom with me bcs you always have a driver, anyway i kept going thrto the doctor to get what they call a cocktail for your migraines instead of ER and i had a migraine for 3month and docunted as well then I felt my head and it was mushy and they right away took a mri well as in going through this for 3 mnths i have no clue how long my head was that way and the regular doctor said i never seen anything like that and went and got another doctor and they were shocked and never had someone like that and after the mri it showed nothing but jmh radiology has missed quit a bit on images and so I will never go back to see one because I honestly think they had made me suffer from all the times they put shots in my back as well as back surgery before all this in 91 but if you would like to email me personally you can I don’t mind but can i ask why you asked that bcs I have truly tried everything and I am going crippled and I am really scared bcs of my daughter she’s 14 and needs me


Penny Jones, are you seeing a Pain Management Dr ?

Donna I never watched it and definitely would not put it down and i would like to see it, it is the first time I heard it, can I rent it it is hard for me to get in the suv bcs my knees I got out to take my mom a valentines card and I am still in misery from doing that I just want to cry all the time I literally lost my life, yeah I am still hear but in alot of pain but Donna I never said anything about the movie and that sucks bcs I will tell all my friends on fb about it bcs alot of them know what I go through, I think you was talking about the people before I wrote my comment bcs I am proud Tha they have put a movie out like that. Please let me know bcs I am not like that and we’re is the movie cake

As well as treating my pain forget about it i have every test mri and ct scan everything and er visits to the meds I take no longer work and my doctor says that he is not giving me anymore. Okay so try something different bcs I have been in pain for years and he thinks that I want more when he sees my results and it’s always my fibromialgia or it is what it is. No i need help i want to live again and not able to clean when that was a major thing 4 me as well as not able to do things with my Las daughter in the house and her cheer and choir we need heard in front of whoever but I am tired of going to er and I tell them what works and what doesn’t i had a heart attack in 2012 and clogged 90 percent ik what works and they look at me weird knowing all the other problems I have.

Let’s just take us chronic pain people an make a documentary but before you do i need someone to clean my house bcs I can barely walk with everything Tha is going on i fight this battle everyday as well as i have a 14yr old and I can’t type everything i want just put it this way I’m 43 and have about everything wrong and people keep saying try cannibas or pot I’m not a pot smoker but this is why society is going to herion and other stuff because they can’t get our truth in the pain suffering i only take pain meds and muscle it doesn’t work I tell them that and I pass every pee test and I really think they need us for a while and see how we are I’m not kidding. Use the real pain suffers and don’t get me wrong I love Jennifer Aniston it’s who is actually feeling it.


Movies are for entertainment, they are not based only on facts. There may be a fact here and a fact there, but that’s it. The majority of people do not want to see a movie about how someone suffers from it. But, for some reasons people want to see a movie about drug addicts. Perhaps because of the way they are protrayed. Unfortunately there is still a forbidden glamour about drug addiction for many. You can be sure that not many drug addicts saw the movie and not many chronic pain patients either. It kinda makes you wonder what audience they were targeting.


I have chronic pain. I saw the movie, I was very impressed by it and think it was much better than I would have expected. I have trouble sitting, too, so I completely empathize with you’re not being able to see the movie in the theatre. (This was the first movie I’ve seen in a theatre in over a decade, literally.)

My question to you though, is why would you negatively comment on a movie you have NOT even seen? That makes no sense to me. Jennifer Aniston did not write the movie, she simply starred in it (and I believe may have produced it).

I’m sorry the movie is not doing well but I’m still glad it’s out there. It helped my husband and I for sure.

Donna M. Harker

I too have not watched this film but find it a little dishonest to complain about something I do not personally know anything about.I have to say that yes Ms.Aniston may not be a chronic pain sufferer but you don’t know that anymore than I do because chronic pain doesn’t always come with outward signs .How aweful of you to be sitting in judgement of someone when you as well as I and most all chronic pain sufferers fight everyday the notion that we really are fine because its not something that can be quantified to have an invisible illness sucks and if she does or doesn’t she felt that it was worth her time to at least get the conversation started! What have any of us done that would show so many people even the slightest glimpse of what a pain patient goes through? The film is doing badly for more reasons than you have covered here No one wants to admit that there is such a thing as chronic pain just mention it at a dinner or a party and see how they run,then on top of that we have chronic pain patients that haven’t even bothered to see the movie giving it bad reviews 1 they are too lazy or in too much pain to go see someone else in pain but continue to degradate it just the same.Shame on you and the National Pain Report!