Cupcakes steal the show

January 4, 2012

I'm probably the last person in the area to see the movie “Mayor Cupcake.” It was a big hit at last year's Rehoboth Beach Film Festival and made its television debut on Showtime in November. It's also available on Netflix.

By now, I'm sure everyone knows the story behind the movie. It's the major motion picture debut of Dewey Beach mogul Alex Pires, who co-wrote, directed and co-produced the film as part of his Highway One Pictures venture.

It's amazing to think that someone could complete a project of this type their first time out.

Although it may not win international awards, the film is not bad. It's the story of a hard-working mom, Mary Maroni, played by Lea Thompson, who suddenly becomes mayor of the small town of Bridgeville. She suffers through trials and tribulations as she learns the job and tries to overcome the corruption left behind by the former mayor, who dies eating a cupcake, and his council cronies.

Judd Nelson, as town policeman Donald Maroni, plays her husband and two of her three daughters are played by her real daughters, Zoey and Madelyn Deutch.

You really got the feeling Bridgeville is a small town – Mayor Maroni walks everywhere – which it is, but you don’t get a real sense of the town because even during town hall meetings, the audience is mostly made up of the actors. Adding a few more Bridgeville faces would have helped.

Most of the filming was done in Bridgeville with many familiar sites – Rapa Scrapple, town hall, the high school and downtown – featured in the movie. Punkin Chunkin is mentioned several times.

The most popular spot for filming was Jimmy's Grille. If Jimmy's Grille was not already on the map as one of the hot spots to eat, it is now. Many of the scenes were filmed inside the restaurant, where the new mayor set up shop once she closed town hall to save money. She also baked cupcakes there, which were the real star of the show.

I had a terrible craving for small cupcakes throughout watching the film.

One of the highlights of the film is a scene filmed at the Bottle and Cork in Dewey Beach with a band singing “Don't You Forget About Me.” The significance of that song was probably lost to most of the viewing audience, but it was one of the major hits from the movie “The Breakfast Club,” which starred Judd Nelson back in 1985. Nelson and Thompson were considered members of the famed Brat Pack of young actors making their mark in the middle 1980s.

Preparing to shoot a second film

During a recent radio interview, Pires announced he is already hard at work on his second film that would star some of the same actors. In this film, college girlfriends seek to fund their way to grad school by bringing in big bucks as summertime Dewey Beach bartenders. They have to undergo an extreme makeover in order to get hired, and that sets off a chain-reaction of unforeseen problems. Pires said most of the filming will be done in Dewey Beach.

  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

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