Every time I watch a Woody Allen movie it’s like meeting old friends or returning to my favorite holiday spot. Do you know that feeling when the typical Woody Allen opening credits appear on the screen? Assuming that you are a fan of the neurotic New Yorker Allen, the black and white titles accompanied by jazz tunes will make you sink even deeper in your theater seat. But as bad weather can ruin your most-loved holiday so can a boring script or a weak cast kill the happy reunion with Woody Allen. Luckily, “Café Society” won’t disappoint your anticipation.
Young Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) heads toward Los Angeles where he hopes for a job from his powerful uncle Phil (Steve Carell) who is an arrogant talent agent. Ginger Roberts, Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper – he knows them all, but apparently not his nephew Bobby. As Bobby is family, he gives him a job anyway and assigns his charming secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart) to show him around town. Bobby falls in love – not so much with the pretentious Dream Factory but with the lovely Vonnie.
Hollywood vs. New York in “Café Society”
After a short while Bobby is sick of Hollywood and he longs for New York. East Coast beats out West Coast – don’t forget we are still in a Woody Allen flick. Bobby leaves behind showbiz and Vonnie – who is already in a relationship and didn’t choose him. With the help of his gangster brother Ben (Corey Stoll), the heartbroken Bobby begins to run a hip night club in New York City where he meets the beautiful Veronica (Blake Lively), soon his wife and mother of his child. But Bobby still dreams of Vonnie…
The newest work of Woody Allen is glamorous and light-hearted. “Café Society” brings back the good Old Hollywood of the 30’s. The first part of the movie is a coming-of-age story of a young man in the unreal world of Hollywood. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (“The Last Emperor”) captures truly amazing colours and gives “Café Society” its very unique look with a constant hint of glamour.
In the second part we follow Bobby back to New York where he builds his future life. Just as I thought the story runs out of its vibe, Woody Allen manages to move on with his story full of Jewish humor and charm.
Woody Allen chose his lead wisely. Jesse Eisenberg does a great job as the unexperienced yet slightly cocky Bobby. But it is not only the main character that convinces me to absolutely love this movie. I fell in love with every other small character. Maybe not so much with Blake Lively’s Victoria though, she stays a bit dull compared to the wonderful Kristen Stewart – but what an eye candy! Surely “Café Society” tells not the most spectacular story but it is fresh, charming and funny. Woody Allen is a true master of Jewish humor – self ironic, sarcastic and witty.