Set in the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars. After returning to New York he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.
What We Thought:
Cafe Society is a mixed bag. There’s a lot I like about it. There’s a lot that’s completely unnecessary.
I like Old Hollywood so the Los Angeles scenes really worked for me. Steve Carell plays a Hollywood agent who is forced to give his nephew (Jesse Eisenberg) a job. Eisenberg starts going to parties and meeting people through Carell. He also falls for Carell’s secretary Kristen Stewart. He falls badly and when her relationship with a married man ends, she gets with Eisenberg, but has to make a decision between him and the married man after he leaves his family.
The film then moves to New York and this is where I have a lot of issues. You get wrapped up in the love triangle/LA lifestyle that all the side stories in the New York side seem unnecessary. Eisenberg goes to work for his gangster brother as they develop an eventually booming nightclub. Eisenberg then falls for another woman (Blake Lively) and all that is fine, but there’s a sister and her neighbor that seems pointless. There’s an investigation into his brother and it just loses the tone it set in the beginning.
The brother being a gangster works, but doesn’t really serve too much of a purpose other than showing that gangsters, celebrities and politicians all rubbed elbows together. The sister and her wimp of a husband serve no purpose other than to get the brother in to trouble.
Plus everyone seemed to be playing a 1930s character besides Kristen Stewart. Carell talks like Old Hollywood. Eisenberg sounds like a New Yorker. Stewart sounds like Stewart and seems misplaced in the era.
I’m not a Woody Allen diehard so I saw Cafe Society because of the cast. I guess I liked it overall, but I don’t think I’d watch it again. I do think fans of his will probably like it though. So if you are a fan of his, then it is…
Cast & Crew:
- Jesse Eisenberg
- Steve Carell
- Kristen Stewart
- Corey Stoll
- Blake Lively
- Woody Allen
Recommended If You Like:
- Woody Allen Films
- Old Hollywood