Recaps & Reviews

Woody Allen’s Café Society Is Witty, Fun and Romantic


Whether you like Woody Allen or not, you’ve got to admit that his films are iconic and stand the test of time. And while you may not like everything he has released, you will more than likely be able to pick out a few that you have found yourself enjoying. While Café Society may not be the masterpiece some of his films have been, it’s still one of his better ones and well worth the time spent watching it.

The film opens in 1930’s Hollywood, where agent to the stars Phil Stern (Steve Carell) is informed that his nephew Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) is heading to L.A. from New York looking for work. Phil takes his nephew under his wing, introducing him to the ways of Hollywood and the people who work there. There is one person Bobby is particularly interested in though, his uncle Phil’s secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart). At first Vonnie is stand-offish because she is seeing someone, but she slowly falls in love with Bobby and when her romance ends she begins to see Bobby as someone she could marry. Unfortunately for Bobby, Vonnie ends up breaking his heart when she goes back to her former lover, and he moves back to New York alone. While Hollywood may not have been his thing, Bobby finds that New York life is, and quickly finds himself getting swept up in high society nightclub life. After a few years Bobby has a family of his own, and is running one of the most successful nightclubs in the city, but his world gets turned upside down when Vonnie re-enters it, married, and still harboring feelings for him.

There is no denying that Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart have a great chemistry together. Café Society is the third film they’ve starred in with each other, and like the previous two they simply put look good together. As for Eisenberg himself, this is the first movie in awhile where his quirkiness hasn’t been annoying, and actually plays along nicely with his character. Where he was miscast as Lex Luthor in the Batman v. Superman film, his role in Café Society was perfectly suited for him. At times you can almost see a young Woody Allen in his performance. One of the best things about Café Society is the witty humour that comes at you unexpectedly. You’ll be watching a dramatic scene unfold and suddenly a joke is thrown in that completely lightens the mood. Unlike the dull and dark Irrational Man and the overly dramatic Blue Jasmine of the last few years of Allen’s career, Café Society mixes moods extremely well, which helps make it a refreshing original film during a season that is typically bombarded with blockbuster popcorn movies.

Café Society may not be the sort of movie that you would watch over and over again, but it is a movie you should see once, if for no other reason than to change the pace of your movie going experience. There are no explosions, no special effects and no superheros, but there is good, honest fun with a romantic flavour to it.

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