Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983)

Movie


Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983)

Zee is walking up and down Manhattan streets, talking to herself and to the husband who has just left her. At a sidewalk café she runs into Eli. A very unlikely, funny and touching relationship develops between two lost souls in the big city, which is the third major character in this film.
USA
IMDb   5.6 /10
TheMovieDb    7.3 /10
RottenTomatoes
TV.com
FilmAffinity  
Creators
Director Henry Jaglom
Writer Henry Jaglom
Information
Release Date1984-02-23
Runtime1h 30mins
GenreComedy, Romance
Content RatingR (R)
Awards
CompanyThe Rainbow Film Company
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Martin Harvey Friedberg
Martin Harvey Friedberg
Mort
Anna Raviv
Anna Raviv
Young Woman At Cafe
Young Man At Cafe
Daniel W. Fitzgerald
Daniel W. Fitzgerald
Band Member (as the Lost Wandering Blues Band)
George Bacon
George Bacon
Band Member (as the Lost Wandering Blues Band)
Joe Price
Joe Price
Band Member (as the Lost Wandering Blues Band)
William Gross
William Gross
Band Member (as the Lost Wandering Blues Band)
Paul Williams
Paul Williams
Zee's Husband
Robert Schwimmer
Robert Schwimmer
Zee's Pianist
Madeline Silver
Madeline Silver
Eli's Ex-Wife
Ariela Nicole
Ariela Nicole
Eli's Daughter

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? is a 1983 American comedy film directed by Henry Jaglom. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival. The film takes place in and was filmed in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was released to mixed reviews.


Plot

Zee, a middle-aged musician who was abandoned by her husband, goes to a cafe in Manhattan where she orders the entire dessert section while crying. Eli, a middle-aged divorced social worker, notices and comes over to start a conversation to cheer her up. The two of them later start a relationship, but that relationship has problems that include jealousy, mistrust, and the fear of marriage. Things improve and they became a happy couple, despite peculiarities such as Eli using a meter to measure his heart rate during sex and hanging upside down in the closet. The main supporting character is Larry, who tries to seduce Zee.


Production

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? was filmed in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, at locations within a 10-block radius of the American Museum of Natural History. Some of the places in the area do not exist anymore. The filmmakers relied on the regular pedestrian traffic to background the scenes, rather than hiring extras.

Karen Black, who stars as Zee, composed the music for the film. Cameos include Orson Welles as a magician and Larry David as Eli's friend.

The title of the movie comes from the lyric in the folk song "Billy Boy".


Release

The film was originally released at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section. It later opened at only one New York theatre, the 68th Street Playhouse. It was released on VHS by itself and was released on DVD as a part of Henry Jaglom Collection vol. 2: The Comedies, along with Sitting Ducks and New Years Day. The film was presented in widescreen and the only special features for the film were trailers.


Reception

Critical reaction was mixed. Film critic David Thomson wrote:

' Cherry Pie is an actors' film in that it grows out of their personalities. It is as loose and unexpected as life, but as shaped and witty as a great short story. In truth, a new kind of film, about love, talk, happiness and failure, about acting and speaking, about New York and Karen Black, and about the way in which a germ of a situation and good players can build an absorbing, vital picture ... 'Cherry Pie' is a unique, memorable and daring film and could be the surprise hit of the year. It shows us that there is still a chance for confident, inspired charm in movies.

A Sun-Sentinel reviewer called the film "endearing". A review in the book TLA Film, Video, and DVD Guide 2002-2003 said: "Pure emotion meets pure logic and the result is an oddly charming couple". On the other hand, People called the plot "aimless" and incoherent. A TV Guide review said: "Decent performances are not enough to save this movie, in which some scenes stretch on much longer than they should, making the genuinely funny moments few and far between".

The film received two and a half stars in the book Off-Hollywood Movies. It is considered one of Jaglom's more successful films.