The Girl in the Café (2005)

TV Movie  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  25 June 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 7,289 users  
Reviews: 117 user | 19 critic

Lawrence, an aging, lonely civil servant falls for Gina, an enigmatic young woman. When he takes her to the G8 Summit in Reykjavik, however, their bond is tested by Lawrence's professional obligations.



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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Meneka Das ...
Italian Waiter
Damon Younger ...
Hotel Receptionist
Assistant Receptionist
Waitress (as Marit Kile)
Philippe De Grossouvre ...
French Delegate
Louisa Bojesen ...
CNBC Newscaster
German Senior Advisor (as Christian Pedersen)
Toshie Ogura ...
Japanese Delegate


A May-December comedy becomes a political drama. Lawrence, a spindly, self-effacing civil servant, is a senior researcher for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, preparing for a G-8 summit that will determine the scope of the world's effort to reduce extreme poverty. In a crowded café, he chats awkwardly with Gina, a young Scot with time on her hands. They share a couple of meals, and he invites her to accompany him to the summit in Reykjavík. Once there, as romance blooms, Gina's past, Lawrence's work and proclivity to compromise, and the presence of ministers and presidents spur her to act. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love can't change what's wrong in the world. But it's a start.


Drama | Romance


TV-14 | See all certifications »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

25 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dziewczyna z kawiarni  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Lawrence checks into the hotel in Reykjavik he is told by the clerk that he is in room 5021. However later when he and Gina are walking down the hotel hallway to the room they go to 5121. See more »


Gina: When I can't sleep I pretend that I'm an extra in a film and I'm being paid for pretending to be dead... and there's a close-up camera on me... so I have to relax every muscle in my face... and finally I fall asleep.
Lawrence: I'll try it out.
Gina: Good. Pretend you're dead. It's my trick in life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Quote at the end of the movie: "Sometime it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation." Nelson Mandela, 2005 See more »


Version of Suddenly Gina (2007) See more »


Cold Water
Performed by Damien Rice
See more »

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User Reviews

Love is in the air
26 June 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Lawrence, an aide to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, appears to be a confirmed bachelor. This is a man that lives for his job that evidently keeps him away from the realities of life. Lawrence gets more than what he bargains for when he enters the cafe, at the beginning of the film, and asks Gina, who is minding her business, whether he can share her table to drink his tea.

Thus begins this romantic comedy with political overtones directed with great flair by David Yates and based on a screen play by Richard Curtis, a writer who knows a thing, or two, about human relations, as demonstrated by his previous work.

Lawrence and Gina, for all appearances are a mismatched pair. He comes from a different world, but has no social graces. She, on the other hand, seems to know a lot more about life than he does. It's easy to see why Lawrence falls head over heels in love with this shy and decent girl who surprises him, and the diplomatic team attending the G8 conference in Reykjavik, Iceland. Lawrence, on an impulse, decides to invite her to come along.

The only thing that Mr. Yates and Mr. Curtis haven't prepared us is for the way Gina, a shy and quiet woman, will raise to the occasion to tell her views to people that couldn't care less, much less would have asked her for her opinion of what's being negotiated in the summit.

Bill Nighy gives a splendid performance as the repressed and reserved Lawrence, a man who can't see beyond of the international diplomacy that consumes his life. Kelly MacDonald makes a wonderful and sweet Gina, a poor girl who has a lot to give. Both actors are wonderful playing together. They made us believe in their love and we are happy they found one another.

Highly recommended for viewers that appreciate a subtle comedy with its heart in the right place.

77 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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