"The Carrot Cake Conversations "
(Courtesy of GV)
Genre: Romance/Drama Director: Michael Wang Cast: Adrian Pang, Alaric Tay, Andrea Fonseka,
Danielle O’Malley, Alice Lim, Steven Woon, Lek Xiayan RunTime: 1 hr 36 mins Released By: GV & Vintage Film Co. Rating: PG Official Website:www.carrotcakeconversations.com
Opening Day: 6 November 2008
The Carrot Cake Conversations is the story of four strangers,
who find themselves stranded in Singapore, two days before
Christmas and how they find companionship over a plate of
carrot cake and a conversation.
story follows the journey of Kate, a failed American actress,
who’s in transit in Singapore for one night, on her
way to New Zealand to set up her dream Café.
meets Daniel, a dishevelled businessman who recently caught
his wife cheating on him, Matthew, a rich property mogul who
finds himself at the crossroads of his life, and Ruth, a prostitute
who longs to be Singapore’s first blues singer.
their conversations, they talk about love, life, loss, carrot
cake, Singapore being alone, Christmas, their dreams, their
fears, their hopes, and at the end of one night, because of
their conversation with a complete stranger, they become different
story seeks to prove the possibility that a conversation can
change everything and that sometimes in life, all we have
to do is talk.
Okay, first up: if a supposedly essential element in a movie
can be easily replaced by more than one substitute…
well, that’s definitely not a positive box office sign.
points for guessing what I am referring to – yes, I
am talking about our dearest local dish of delights: carrot
cake! It might as well have been replaced by durians, chicken
rice, lasak, or fried kway teow – except that these
would not sound as 'glam'; (The Durian Conversations?!) –
and the essence of the plot will not be affected in the least
bit (well, everyone can talk over a plate of anything anywhere).
Sorry, but relying on 'carrot cake' as a plot connector between
the 4 characters isn’t convincing enough for me if there
aren’t any solid justifications. Well, I am picky about
small things like that – if there’s no point to
even introduce the dish (except to make it uniquely Singaporean),
don’t bother. Plus, if I spend the entire length of
the movie getting puzzled over this and that… I don’t
think I would have enjoyed it.
honestly, this is one big problem in most local films (well,
for starters, not all because I really liked Teenage Textbook
and Eric Khoo’s 12 Storeys). Either they try too hard
to be local, or they are not in the least relatable to Singaporeans.
While, The Carrot Cake Conversations takes on both 'strategies',
and of course, fails miserably.
I say, instead of trying to be pretentious and all preachy,
CCC should have focused on being realistic; in terms of paying
attention to comparably small things like casting and plot
development (Why would a Chinese prostitute converse with
her Chinese-speaking mom in English? Why would she have a
Eurasian-looking face, and speak with a distinctively American
slang? Why would she be carrying a guitar while… scouring
the roads of Geylang for customers – even if she’s
an aspiring blues singer? Hmm...).
be forewarned if you are the sort who:
likes action, gore or violence and hates dialogue-heavy, philosophical
(or trying to be) movies
hates audacious and overly sappy plots (I belong here.)
you wouldn’t enjoy this movie. It is basically a collection
(I wouldn’t use dare to use the word 'story') of conversations
between four very emotional strangers who eventually pluck
the courage to step out of their current situations and embark
on their individual life-changing adventures. And that’s
about it. I am not going to go into the specifics of who plays
what, what happens, etc, because then there’s nothing
else for you, the reader and potential movie-goer, to look
if you like slow movies like this, you are definitely better
off with 10 Items or Less – a movie, which I recently
reviewed, about two strangers meeting in the weirdest (but
believable) situation, and having a genuine and realistic
Conclusion: TCCC is one hell of a train ride to Dreamland
and insomniacs should skip their medications and just watch
this: equally effective and cheaper. As for the rest of the
entire human race, save the $8 – 9, and buy 3 plates
of delicious carrot cake.
(Not appetizing even when served pipin’ hot
with extra chilli and soya sauce)