I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
Nearly two years on this job and I am only now reviewing a Woody Allen film? Also this review is very, very late. Sorry.
Café Society is Allen’s take on a love story between a young man and woman in late 1930s Hollywood. The only hitch? The woman is in love with the man’s big-shot Uncle!
Quick Question: How many films of a certain filmmaker does it take to see before someone can legitimately call themselves a fan of the filmmaker?
There’s always a certain group in any fan-base who act as gatekeepers, to make sure you have to be “this tall to ride” with the “real” fans.
How big a fan of Woody Allen can I say I am? How do you measure my legitimacy in devotion? Is it quantitative? Have I seen enough of his extensive filmography? I’ve seen 3 of his 47 directorial efforts, including this one. Is it qualitative? Have I seen the Allen classics? I’ve seen good ones, but they’re not on anyone’s list of influential films. Have I seen a good variety of what he’s capable of? The films I’ve seen all came from after 2010. Am I a fan? Technically no.
I do love those two other movies, though. I like Allen’s style for all the little I’ve seen of his annually increasing filmography.
This film is no exception in its skill to delight me.
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are the couple of this piece and, like in their surprisingly brilliant performances in the underwhelming American Ultra, their chemistry is electric. Allen’s dialogue bounces between them like a playful rubber ball thrown to pugs. I love it.
The rest of the supporting cast are excellent as they fill their parts. Steve Carrell as Eisenberg’s Uncle is of course hilarious and brilliant as is Ken Stott in a shining small role as Jesse’s father. There’s a lot of banter, film references and the old New York Jewish humour which Allen appears to specialise in. Woody even cameos as the narrator to this film which is structured in a similar way to a novel for further comedic impact.
I’ve said before that it is easier to write reviews for films that don’t work than films that do. This film just works.
Recommended Scenario: If you’re in the mood for a genuinely funny and lovely 30’s romantic comedy.