7.7/10
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2 user 2 critic

Coffee and Language (2001)

Can you fall in love on the page? A man falls deeply in love with a novelist that he's never met. He finds her at a coffeehouse and, despite her resistance, tells a mysterious and ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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John
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Susan
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Coffee Drinker 1
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Coffee Drinker 2
Charles Blackburn ...
Coffee Drinker 3
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Coffee Drinker 4
Terry Bamberger ...
Coffeehouse Owner
Pat Everett ...
Reader
Scott Nordquist ...
Man without Language
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Paramedic
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jamie Angell ...
Father of boy

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Storyline

Can you fall in love on the page? A man falls deeply in love with a novelist that he's never met. He finds her at a coffeehouse and, despite her resistance, tells a mysterious and passionate story. Coffee and Language is a drama about the risk of telling everything. Written by Anonymous

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Can you fall in love on the page?

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Drama | Romance

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18 October 2001 (USA)  »

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The script was originally performed on stage in March 2000 at the Phoenix Theatre in San Francisco one month before film production began. See more »

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Words and stories bind people together, but also create differences
29 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Coffee and Language" is a small, focused and well-done "think piece" about writing, talking, communications and how we relate to each other. Oh, and it also takes place almost entirely in a coffee shop. In fact it's mostly in black and white (flashbacks and stories people tell to each other are shot in color), so it reminds one of Jarmusch's "Coffee and Cigarettes."

This is a much better movie, although it is also episodic and disjointed in a way. The focus is on a writer and a man who has been so moved by her novel to write stories just for her (an audience of one), to try to communicate his essence to her - he can't find the words to say out loud. This turns into a discussion of how we read, and whether or not we can "know" a writer by his work alone.

How autobiographical is any fiction?

Around this framework, the film also tells a couple of stories of other people in the coffee shop, and how they relate, use words, and read fiction, stories, etc. The sum is greater than its parts. "Coffee and Language" is clearly and aggressively a writer's rhetorical discussion about creation, and how your words affect the world.

It's also funny, and casually deep. It touches on subjects we rarely see in a film (indie or not). How do we relate to a story? To words that move us? Even if they are not intended in that way. JP Allen, the writer and director, has managed to make these potentially academic topics into a dramatic, entertaining, modest but engaging work that's head and shoulders above most slacker-coffee-shop indie films. (Is that a genre?)


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