Cookies & Cream
Carmen, a racially-mixed single mother, accepts an online adult entertainment job to support herself and her daughter. Searching for the security of a long term relationship with an honest man, she finds it difficult to find Mr. Right. Then she finds someone who seems to fit all of her criteria and starts to fall for him. Will she be able to tell him how she makes a living and will he understand...
This sort of character study is quite difficult to achieve and it s a testament to both the writing and the acting that the film accomplishes so much. Carmen is a very well-rounded character and it is very easy to see where she is coming from and to understand what she is looking for out of life. The characterization goes way beyond this, however, and all of the significant characters we encounter are similarly well drawn. This is especially true in the case of Jodie and Dylan (Brian Ackley), the man she meets and with whom she starts to develop a relationship. As with the writing, so with the acting. Again, Jace Nicole does a superb job of carrying this film and brings a real emotional depth to her character, but the strength of the cast as a whole means that her performance doesn't stand out as much as it could have done. While some of the performances are stronger than others, there are no weak performances and all of the cast members do an admirable job of bringing their characters to life. All of this results in a genuinely compassionate drama populated with engaging and sympathetic characters. As the film progresses these characters increasingly draw you into their world, capturing and holding your interest for its duration. Cookies & Cream does more than any other film I've seen to humanize the people working in the adult entertainment industry. The film moves along at quite a steady pace and without a great deal happening. It s this pacing that makes the film so effective, allowing the characters space to develop and become increasingly interesting and sympathetic. As the characters develop, the film subtly challenges many of the prejudices both positive and negative that surround the adult entertainment industry, presenting us instead with an alternative and much more realistic view of a collection of individuals trying to do the best for themselves and for each other. --Pulp Movies
We begin with an introduction to Carmen (Jace Nicole), a racially-mixed mother of an eight-year-old daughter who makes a living in the world of adult entertainment. Being an extremely attractive woman, she's able to do well in the world of pornographic movies and live webshows even if she doesn't particularly enjoy the line of work, but this comes with a price: it's damned hard to find a man who is fine with her job and who can still treat her like a woman instead of a porn star. Sure, she could quit, but why should she? She makes better money doing this than she could anywhere else, she has a daughter to take care of, and as she explains to one potential suitor, what would happen if she gave up that money for a normal life and the man then decided that he didn't want her anymore? She'd be out of a job and on her own with nobody to turn to. The storyline gets interesting when Carmen meets Dylan (Brian Ackley), a man who is perfectly fine with the fact that she already has a child and who also treats her right. The two immediately hit it off and have a couple of fantastic dates, but there's just one problem: Carmen hasn't told him what she does for her day job yet, and knowing how her previous boyfriends have reacted, she doesn't want to ruin yet another relationship by spilling the beans. Obviously, the truth will have to eventually come out, but how will her latest significant other react? As I mentioned up above, this is far from a skin flick; in fact, there isn't even a split second of nudity or simulated sex to be found throughout the running time. Sure, there are some suggestive moments, but nothing is actually shown to those of us watching at home. This shocked me, to be blunt about it, but I feel that it actually helped the film immensely. Given the storyline and the plot twists that come up, it would have been easy to slide a sex scene or a striptease into the affair (and most filmmakers would have done one or both), but in my humble opinion, doing this would have cheapened the film. Would I have liked to have seen Jace Nicole nude? Sure... any man who sees her face and body would agree that the extremely attractive descriptor wasn't a plot point made up for the movie but a cold, hard fact. However, given the heartfelt nature of the film and the emphasis on the decisions that she must make, throwing in a quick sex scene or a few glimpses of flesh would have seemed exploitative and would not have aided the film in the least. I applaud the filmmakers for wisely avoiding that path. Another thing that surprised me was the complete lack of attention paid to the obvious: here's a mixed girl dating a white guy. In most films that deal with romantic dilemmas, this would have more than likely come up once or twice in the dialogue, but in this film, it's a complete non-issue; in fact, you could have swapped out the leading lady and her child for some white folks and nothing in the film would have needed to have been changed. I was very satisfied with the decision to leave race off of the table, as I instantly expected this to come up once I saw that the main romantic interest was white. However, it's a very cliché plot point in this day and age, so the decision to focus on the characters as people instead of mixed girl and white guy was extremely satisfying. The final pieces of the puzzle that just clicked into place was Jace Nicole and, to a slightly lesser extent, Brian Ackley in the leading roles. I've always said that you can have the best story in the world, but when it comes to the drama genre, putting lackluster actors in the leading roles will absolutely kill a film. That was not the case here, and not only was Nicole great in her role, but she was actually downright perfect. --Movies Made Me
Top customer reviews
This is the dramatic story of a woman who works in what she knows is often a socially unacceptable field. As well, she has a young daughter she only gets to see when the daughter's caretaker (an ex-boyfriend?) allows her to. It's the story of her trials and tribulations trying to find love and acceptance.
The acting is pretty much what you'd expect from an independent film with a fairly low budget. Nobody really hams it up, but you will see overly dramatic gestures, lines spoken in a regular, even tone and pacing when the character's supposed to be agitated, that sort of thing. The New York location worked well, though.
Overall, it's an OK drama. The picture is good-quality, though obviously direct-to-video style. The sound is clear, for the most part. The story is kind of trite, however, and its theme of trust and being who you are are not as well-presented as they ought to be in such a straightforward movie. The theme of this movie is trust, expectations, and the judgment of others. Her trust in others is broken, but many times that's because she deceives them because she doesn't want to face their judgment of her lifestyle and career choices. I don't expect everything to be laid out in front of me in plain form, but this comes off as a bit garbled, to me. Still, as I said, an OK dramatic story, but understand that the erotic implications of the cover are sorely lacking.
*** Spoilers Below ***
Carmen works in the sex industry. When the movie opens, she's working on a parody of the Bangbus movies. They don't show any bit of skin (but Jace Nicole definitely looks good throughout this movie), and just the beginning of a very sleazy pickup line. Ah, I like where this is going! *blam* End scene. At that point, we discover that she's leaving whatever company she's working with to work for herself with a pay site.
From there, we jump into the actual topic of the movie. The guy she's been going out with for three weeks decides it's time to move things to "the next level", which naturally means sex (and using a hidden camcorder to record the session). She doesn't want to move that fast, though, and discovers his deception. A period of depression and weepy-time with her porn star female friend (no sexing between them, of course) ensues. Naturally, after some on-screen thinking and life-evaluation, she finds another dude, but she lies about her profession; he's a moral, fairly religious Christian dude who isn't 100% uptight, but she knows he'd be put off by her porn site. So she doesn't tell him...until she has to tell him, and he's understandably shocked and hurt that she concealed it from him. She sits around for a couple of questions, but when she thinks that he's judging her profession, she walks out on him. Personally, I think that was pretty weak on her part; she dropped this bomb on him and then got insulted when he didn't accept it within a 5-minute conversation. Anyway, it closes with her spending time with her daughter. Not exactly a happy ending, but it did depict the messiness of life fairly well.
Well, my friends, NONE of those elements we touched upon have a blessed thing to do with the movie itself, much to the chagrin of 95% of those who purchase this flick. This is one of countless low budget, shot on video and released direct to DVD films that appeal to a handful of pompous juries at questionable film festivals that are utilized to brand the packaging of films folks would otherwise have no interest in, and usually rightfully so. The acting's nothing special, neither is the story (other than to delude us into thinking based on the box cover deceit that we're gonna be entrenched in sexual mayhem, nudity, exploitation and solicitation), a non-existent budget, questionable directorial skills and amateurish acting experience, etc., etc. What we're actually viewing is a damned soap opera about a woman with a kid who works in the sex industry (now how rare is THAT in today's world?) but has principles that go way beyond the bar she has established for herself, yet holds others accountable for moralistic ideals she herself can't live up to. Yeesch. I could forgive all the deceit mentioned IF the flick was special in any significant way, but guess again...
By all means, do pick up 'Diary of a Nymphomaniac' if you want to see a transcendent art house slice of high-class exploitation that has both a heart and a soul, a solid story, a budget and great acting, and grab yourself a copy of 'Monamour' if you're into envelope-pushing sexploitation, flagrant nudity and eroticism ala Tinto Brass (again, read my reviews for details), but avoid this flick unless you're a delusional critic who sees artful things in dung heaps. This is one step away from a Lifetime movie... And blame EVERYONE for the gross, negligent, shameless promotion of this dog and pony show...
Carmen is a young woman who works as a web cam girl but this film is not about the web cam industry. It is about her search for a man who can love and accept her for who she is without treating her like a sex toy. The director does not follow the traditional Hollywood route, instead opting for a realistic and honest portrayal sorely lacking in big budget films.
See this movie. You will not regret it.