Cupcakes is an Israeli film Directed by American/Israeli Eytan Fox (Yossi & Jagger) about a group of friends who enter the Universong competition after being unimpressed with Israeli’s entry.
While watching the competition on TV, they join singer-songwriter Efrat (Efrat Dor) in singing ‘Anat’, a song improvised on the spot to comfort their friend Anat (Anat Waxman), whose husband has left her.
Unashamedly camp, predictable and feel-good, there is really nothing to the film other than a sweet song with a catchy tune.
Anat, the owner of a popular bakery, has made cupcakes with the colours of various international flags for the competition. As the friends gather to watch this take on the Eurovision Song Contest, performer Efrat shows up as there is no one in the club where she performs.
To her dismay, the whole country is watching the contest. When Efrat starts strumming on her guitar and singing an improvised song to cheer up Anat, the group joins in.
The friends realise that, while the song is a winner, it is the spontaneous and heartfelt spirit of their impromptu presentation that made it special.
All this is lost when they find commercial sponsors, necessary to finance their costumes, rehearsals, publicity and, especially to fly them all to Paris for the contest.
All of the friends are female with the exception of Ofer (Ofer Shechter) whose male partner is a celebrity and is afraid of the publicity.
The friends realise, just under the wire, that the management company has distorted their image and pushed them too far from the original, ‘everyman’ ethos of the song.
They manage to find themselves again and their song finds itself neck in neck with Russia in the final seconds of the competition.
Satires on the Eurovision song contest feel trite and passé, and there is nothing in Cupcakes to breathe new life into a contest we have, for the most part, given up on.
It is as if Fox, writing with Eli Bijaoui felt it was not cool to have a homosexual male couple with adding a female couple.
If the film were a solid farce, we could forgive this obsession with making the group a rainbow coalition, but it’s not particularly funny, at least not for British audiences.
by Joyce Glasser, Mature Times film reviewer