30 iconic LA bars and 100 fancy cakes helped create 'Sitting in Bars with Cake'

Peter Larsen, The Orange County Register on

Published in Entertainment News

ANAHEIM, Calif. — To director Trish Sie, the title of the screenplay — "Sitting in Bars with Cake" — sounded like a rom-com, and as much as she loves both bars and cake, a rom-com wasn't what she wanted to do next, she says.

"So when that script kind of landed in my inbox, I was tempted to ignore it," Sie says. "But my husband, he loves to read scripts as a hobby. And I came in from taking care of my flock of chickens in the backyard. I'm muddy and disgusting, sweaty, and I see him bawling at his laptop.

"I was like, 'What happened?'" she recalls. "I thought he'd gotten like a mean email from a customer or something. And he's like, 'You've got to read this one. You're gonna love this one.'"

So Sie, whose previous films include "The Sleepover," "Pitch Perfect 3," and "Step Up: All In" — as well as many of the over-the-top music videos her brother Damian Kulash's band OK Go is famed for — read the screenplay, and in it found something she absolutely wanted to make.

"I thought it was going to be one thing, and it turned into something different," she says of the story, which is based on screenwriter Audrey Shulman's book of the same name that was inspired by her real-life experiences. "Definitely harder, but better and more interesting to me.

"So I started stalking Audrey, the writer, and I started stalking the producers," Sie says. "And being like, 'Please, please, please, please let me have this. I'll do anything to make this movie.'"


She got the job — you already knew that, right? — and this month "Sitting in Bars with Cake" began streaming on Prime Video.

It's the story of Jane and Corinne, 20-something best friends since childhood, now roommates in Los Angeles. Yara Shahadi plays Jane, the introvert, who'd rather stay home baking fancy cakes than put herself out there to meet guys. Odessa A'zion, is Corinne, the extrovert, who decides on a plan to help her friend after seeing the reaction from guys when Jane brings Corinne's birthday cake to a bar one night.

They will go out once a week with a cake to a bar — "cake-barring" is the term they come up with — and guys will follow. And all goes well until a crisis arrives that we will not spoil here.

That's a premise strong enough to draw many viewers in. But for Southern Californians, "Sitting in Bars with Cake" has a secret ingredient to enjoy. It was shot in more than 30 classic L.A. bars, from the Golden Gopher and Clifton's Republic in downtown Los Angeles to the Tiki-Ti in Los Feliz, Chez Jay in Santa Monica, Tramp Stamp Granny's in Hollywood, and many more.


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