Café Society (2016): A light and stylish romantic comedy but not Woody at his best.

Written by Eleanor.

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Woody Allen, in his 80s, is back with a new romantic comedy. After the latest series of movies set in Europe, Woody Allen returns to his beloved America. Even though Woody is not starring in this movie, he makes sure that the protagonist, Bobby serves as his alter ego. Set in the 1930s in Hollywood, the film follows young Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) in his attempt to find success and happiness in Hollywood. Bobby’s uncle, Phil Stern (Steve Carell), is a wealthy star agent, who introduces him to the elite of Hollywood in order to find a well-status job. In his attempt to help get to know and explore Hollywood, Phil introduces Bobby to his secretary, Vonnie (Kristen Stewart). The two of them start spending a lot of time together and Bobby falls in love with Vonnie. However, Bobby doesn’t know that his uncle is also in love with Vonnie, which makes things complicated. Who is the one that is going to have a place in Vonnie’s life?

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Café Society creates a beautiful atmosphere of the ’30s with the costumes and music contributing to the general feeling of the Era. Experimenting with the American Dream, the superficiality of the ’30s and the chase of wealthy and fame, Woody Allen tells the story of a love triangle, which is caught in the web of the social and political conventions. Despite the dream-like atmosphere of the movie, the story seems to have little excitement to offer. The characters and actors seem to be detached from the story as well as from each other. Chemistry among the characters is hard to find and the good-old Jewish sarcasm – one of Woody’s trademarks – is limited to the minimum.

 Woody Allen seems to have entered a new phase in his cinematic career. His sarcasm and humor have been replaced by a more romantic and nostalgic tone. Love stories with or without a happy ending define the contemporary Woody Allen. Whether or not his movies are good or bad according to our taste, we have to admit that a yearly dose of Woody Allen is necessary. So, take your friends, lovers or family to a cinema tonight and enjoy a light and a warm romantic comedy.

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