Café (2011) Poster

(II) (2011)

User Reviews

Add a Review
21 Reviews
Sort by:
finally something different
alc4023 November 2010
I watch tons of films of all sorts and time after time I am left feeling like 'I've seen this before'. That being the case, I had no idea what to expect from Cafe. To my surprise, this little indie flick turned out to be unlike anything I've ever seen. On the one hand, it is a slice of life--seeing the whole world in a Cafe setting with great entangled characters--strangers, friends and family. On the other hand, we are plunged into story about the game of life, questions about the ultimate nature of reality, free will and self-sacrifice. This film is both fun to watch and thought provoking to say the least. It demands audience participation and as the days go by since I saw it, I find it staying with me--which is more than i can say for 90+% of films out there. This is a film that will age well and I think a lot people will find it a refreshing and rewarding experience.
60 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Modest, low budget, but fun, and sweet, and eventually effective
secondtake7 December 2012
Cafe (2011)

A simple seeming story with a couple of otherworldly (computer reality) twists that gradually works on your sympathies and wins.

Except for a brief exterior giving the sense of place (West Philadelphia) and two or three other very minor exceptions, the entire movie is shot in a coffee shop. A surprisingly large cast of characters take on some significance. And the dreamy idealism of exactly those kinds of independent cafés permeates the movie. The ostensible driving force is the appearance now and then of a nasty guy who deals drugs and the reaction against him by others in the place and the police. But really the movie is more about character, and what makes character, and what makes some people good and whether that kind of goodness is real.

After awhile you also realize that one weird subplot--the appearance of a girl on a computer scree--is maybe the most important aspect of all. Because she helps redefine what reality is--not just the so-called reality of people's lives, but reality reality, ontologically. It's obviously too much to swallow, but just go with it, it's fun.

What holds it up most of all might just be the really solid acting from most of the main characters. And the sweetness the seems to permeate the movie through and through. It's low-budget but keeps it confident and well made anyway. It's a good excuse for hanging out with some nice people.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
What if your life was virtual, and the guy in the corner was writing it?
UncleTantra14 October 2011
This is an Indie flick that I watched entirely because of its name. I sit and write in cafes, and so I figured it would appeal to me. I expected it to be quirky, and it was. What I didn't expect was for it to be quite as quirky as it is. The tagline for the film is "What if the world you lived in weren't real?" and that's basically what the film is about. The cafe's regulars go about their everyday lives and their petty dramas, every day, as do we all, but one day on the laptop of one of the regulars there appears the face of a young girl telling him that he doesn't really exist. He's just an avatar, living in a virtual world that she has created, just for the fun of creating it. Naturally, he doesn't quite believe this, but then events start happening in the cafe that cause him *to* believe it.

As such, this is a little movie that might appeal to those who tend to believe the same thing about reality, and their own lives. If you believe that someone or something else is writing the script of your life, and that you are little more than a bit player in someone or something else's drama (or comedy), this movie's for you. It's not great, and not nearly in the same league of quirky cafe-based stories as "Amelie," but it's entertaining, in a lightweight, fluffy sort of way.

If you wind up seeing it, come back and say in the comments section what you think the guy who sits in the corner every day writing in his notebook was really writing. I think it was the script for this film.
23 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sweet Movie
info-190-79833019 October 2011
If your willing to slow down the pace and go with this movie, your in for a sweet, thought provoking movie. If your an action movie goer, you may have a hard time staying engaged. Not a fault of the movie of course. The movie is based on the idea that everything in our so called reality is really an illusion. The thought provoking idea of what is real? Who created us and who pulls the strings? I once owned a café' called philosophers stone café' in which the same thought engaging ideas were tossed around with a cup of Joe everyday. Customers always said to me my café scene would make a great movie. Cafe' is close to that. Enjoy.
25 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ohhh. A perfect ensemble piece. IGNORE the IMDb storyline.
Gladys_Pym8 January 2012
OK. Tomorrow, after I've slept, maybe I'll feel less than 10, but, tonight? OK, yeah, a big, resounding 10/10.

It's hard to seriously fit you gently into a world. This time it works just beautifully. OK. I just stopped watching it, and I'm a little be-alcoholled. BUT I am one of those who is really nervous about showing films you really like to those you love, and THIS one I surely will.

I'm reminded of Kevin Smith, in terms of the reality of an intimate, special world, without the - weirdness?

OK. Bottom line. I don't know what to compare this to. Yeah, Kevin Smith, but gentler. What have I loved that'll give ANYONE a clue? Little Miss Sunshine - Steelyard Blues - Blues Brothers - Driving Miss Daisy - The Remains of the Day. And so many, many more.

Check my reviews. I don't often give a recommendation.

This is one. Go for it.

(And I have NO IDEA what the IMDb storyline is talking about. I suspect it's another film :/ )
28 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Most Wonderful Movie!...
kathiekim26 May 2012
The most brilliant movie I have seen. It made me sob with heartwarming realization. You just need to know what you are watching. It IS life and everything in it. Not just what you ware watching but listen to what they say. There are a ton of wonderful messages in this beautiful movie. It is a little slow in the beginning and like I said... you need to know what it is you are watching. It's tricky and quirky but great!! A much better "American Beauty". I am having trouble putting into words what I am trying to say... An important movie to be seen especially these days. Makes you want to go out and LIVE! Life is what You make it!
13 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
reality is pretty cool after all
babylon29116 March 2013
A charming little indie film. Sweet & uplifting with great moral explorations gently offered while not being preachy or dogmatic in the least. Well written & performed by an ensemble cast in which Jennifer Love Hewitt fits perfectly without overshadowing the others who appear in their various vignettes which are then woven into the whole wonderful tapestry. Join their alternative reality located in a coffee shop serving a very eclectic customer base and come away with an appreciation for the beauty of our own reality. Relationships, love and surrounding it all: divine magic with so much thought provocation to engage the viewer's mind. There are so many twists, turns and surprises - try to see it fresh without reading too much about it ahead of time.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
So disappointed...
jess57021 October 2010
I had such high expectations just based on the spectacular cast in this movie. About 40 minutes into the film, I wanted to leave. I've never EVER walked out of a movie (seen hundreds in theaters). I saw this at a film festival and felt obligated to stay until the credits, hoping for it to not tempt me to bolt out of the theater. The cast was great considering the script, which was rather cliché but could be cute at times. The dialogue was bearable for the first few scenes. Unfortunately, the plot went downhill from there. If you are not of the god idolizing type, this is not a film for you. Nothing about this translates to anything beyond a "someone created us and they will manipulate us at will if they chose to, or not" mentality. I do not believe in this and the premise of the film is sadly based SOLELY around this thought. I have seen many faith based films that have been fantastic, owning to the thought that not everyone thinks like the screenwriter. Showing the humanity side of characters instead of the only the "divine interpretation" could have made this film watchable, maybe even good. This hasn't yet been picked up by a distributor. I'm not surprised. I've never been so disappointed in a film...
33 out of 68 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Much better than expected
Johnny_Hing7 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The mood, setting, the assortment of highly interesting characters, and especially the interaction between those characters, are all superb. I suspect that those few folks who are giving this movie a bad rating are doing so based on the little girl who seems to be playing "God", or the "programmer" in a virtual world supposedly created by her. However, the rest of the movie was just so fascinating that I simply would not allow this "existentialism" theme (if that's what it was) to ruin it for me. Hence, I just chalked that relatively minor portion of the film up to "fantasy." I might have given this an even higher rating, if not for the ending, which left one wondering what happened with the writer and the "movie girl", as everyone else in the cafe had a happy ending. *SPOILER* Now that I think of it, the sitting-alone writer (who was observing all the patrons and employees while writing his blog) also happened to be the mysterious owner of the cafe... so perhaps the "fantasy" elements were a product of *his* imagination (not the little girl's) while writing? That might explain why he was still observing and writing at the very end, seemingly despondent, while all those he was observing were experiencing oneness and elation. Just a theory I had the day after watching... ETA: In one of the above reviews, UncleTantra seems to share the same conclusion in his last paragraph.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Special Class of Film
ed_bardo16 November 2013
I occasionally find these movies that most people won't have heard of and will have no interest to see, yet shine as gems in their own right. The criteria I use for determining when these small, indie films make my list is that they take a risk and show a level of creativity that mainstream films have abandoned. Recently I have found an interesting class of these films that I call the indie film with the unexpected sci-fi twist. Café is one of these.

I didn't read the reviews or know the tagline to be forewarned what this movie is about. I have to say, not only was I intrigued, but extremely pleasantly surprised. I am not going to rehash the details of the plot but suffice it to say, if you are a movie lover sitting at home looking for a pleasant way to stretch your imagination and spawn a post viewing discussion, this one is for you.

Recently I found two others I considered similar in this class of film. "Safety not Guaranteed" and "The Sound of My Voice" were two other films that fell into this personal class of interesting film. Take the plunge and try these original films!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I would give this movie an infinite number of stars instead of 10
Pam Schwetz3 November 2013
I really absolutely love this movie. It works on such a deep spiritual level. It is a must see movie. I highly recommend it. I just found it in my instant netflix streaming and found out that it was leaving soon so had to watch it before it left and so far have watched it three times in a row but had to stop to share it with others.I hope you get to see this movie and you get the message. Wonderfully eye opening perceptive profound phenomenal masterpiece. Great cast, great screen writing, great directing, great cinematography...I don't want to give anything away so don't know what else to say besides that I highly recommend it and hope you enjoy it and it enlightens you as much as it did me.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not bad but not something I would watch again
Alisha Marie Hansen29 June 2012
This movie is like the title...sweet. The setting and the characters add to this film. While this movie had the potential to be really good, it wasn't. It had a good message about life but it was confusing. I liked how all the characters seemed to connect but it didn't all flow together. The relationships going on in this movie were all interesting and did help make this movie bearable to watch, if it wasn't for the characters being interesting I wouldn't have watched the entire movie. I think if a few things were changed it might have made more sense. The movie was written well but just not in a way that makes sense. If you are bored on a Friday night watch this movie but if you want to watch a great movie I say you should watch something else.
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great Insight
Mark Johnson13 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I am not sure why so many people are confused by this wonderful movie. Although this movie contains difficult measures we endure in our everyday lives, it also gives us some insight to the big question; what is the purpose of Life? This movie helps explain what God is. Also it helps us realize the only way to win the game of life, that is by completely giving of ourselves for others, not suicide. People create miracles all the time when they let go of their own problems and help others with their problems. The act of helping others creates joy for them and ourselves.

Do you know who the only character in the film that the rooster doesn't sound off when the door is opened? It's God.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Amazingly bad
coupyah28 April 2012
Rarely provoked to write a review. Apparently if you have the right connections, an amazingly large and sanctimonious ego you can fund a vanity project that is so transparent, preachy and burdened by some of the most artless boring and endless exposition dialog that will ever be committed to video. If you have those connections and enough money you can also obtain a cast that includes some Grade B celebrities to appear in your vanity productions. What you CANNOT do, apparently, is convince anyone to distribute this crap. Thanks to Showtime at 9AM on a Saturday morning, a few bored individuals were exposed to this, thankfully without paying for the experience. According to IMDb this is the writer's 3rd attempt to prove he has talent. Since neither of the others ever got any distribution either, it seems he simply won't take NO for an answer. There's a certain rubberneck fascination in watching it play out, as when you drive bye a really grisly car accident, and if it's this or a coin collection infomercial to act as your night light, it's a reasonable choice. You can actually see the gears in his brain grinding as he 'proves' how deep and clever he can be. Therein lies the comedy.
10 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
tasteinbach17 June 2012
I've never written a review before and maybe I shouldn't. I've started so no turning back now. Did one person write the story line(s) or a group? I say this because nothing flowed. I watched the movie out of bored curiosity to pass time. I would not recommend this movie to anyone else. Why? Well, Because the whole view of Christianity is incorrect. Entirely misunderstood.

The description of the movie, on Netflix, states "Claire serves wisdom along with the coffee and scones." definitely not true. She only serves coffee, no wisdom. The only character who slightly hints at giving out wisdom is Ellie, even though her so called wisdom isn't wisdom at all.

The movie did pass the time, but I was in awe that it was even put out in the market for the public to purchase. Just shows it is who you know, not what you know that moves our world.
7 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A message of a higher truth
jkcarlo21 August 2017
This movie is made more like a TV-series. But don't let the form of the movie get in your way. It contains a beautiful messages for humans to consider.

Could it be, that there is more to life than what meets the eye? Could it be, that this experience called life we all have is "made up"? Only for us to realize an even higher truth?

Do yourself a favour. Watch this movie regardless whether you like its form or not. And allow yourself to take in the message of the movie and believe. Remember.

Life communicate with us all the time. In books we read. In movies we see. Through people we meet. If only we dare listen to the message life continually keeps "whispering" in our ears - maybe you and I will be the next persons to "wake up" to the message of a "higher truth"
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Unexpectedly uplifting
Ayoub Chaouch15 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Café (2011) a low-budget Indie flick which takes place in a coffee shop in a small town in South Philadelphia. What gives the film its sweet and realistic mood is the simplicity of the characters and the stories which we watch slowly unfold. The coffee shop serves as a microscopic part of reality, in which the diversity of the characters and their encounters seem to somehow resemble that of the audience. A romantic encounter, a recovered-addict, a shy ambitious geek who is in love with his colleague, and a drug-dealer representing the bad man, portray the bittersweet reality of life that tastes similar to that cup of coffee in the hands of the patrons. In a surrealist and magical fashion, we realize that the film portrays reality as virtual, created and controlled by a little girl. The notion invites us to think of life in a different way, provoking questions about spirituality and morality. In the end, our characters realize that life is a one chance, one opportunity, in which courage at the face of reality and at the face of death is what counts.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Why did I bother?
JenEvans127 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Was expecting this to be something a little different, and it was.But not necessarily in a good way. The characters in this were all quite interesting so I stayed with it even though I was not really taken with the plot (what there was of it). To be honest, the whole thing was more like a play than a movie and, like many a play, it focused on lots of characters so there was no real depth to any of them.

The idea of all of them being parts of a computer program invented by a young girl was interesting but sadly it was never believable. And I am sorry to say that the ending was dire. First we had JLH dead, then we had the 'Oh its OK now, none of it has happened and lets all forget about it' scenario. I felt cheated by this.

And a big cheer for Uncle Tantra, who suggested that the guy in the corner was writing the script for this. I could go along with this if the guy had looked even more brain dead.

Still, I did watch it and I didn't hate it (much) until the end. So I'm giving this one four for effort (and believe me that's generous).
2 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Benjamin T Vallejo20 February 2017
This movie has one B grade actress and one C grade actor and a bunch of nobodies... The characters have little story development. There is a lot of repetitiveness and the movie keeps me wishing for the whole miserable thing to end. The story is an incoherent art instalment with a weak plot and ridicules ending. Don't waste your time with this one.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Trying to indulge suicide as a mean to reach self realization?
wollbratt23 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, it is different than most flicks out there...why? Because it deals with the meaning of life, choices and so on.. but what else? That is it. Played out in an environment that can deal with different characters, which stayed in a café that supposedly should be unique in a certain way, but it has been carried out plenty of times before in motion pictures. In what way would I describe this movie? ..absolutely pointless. Why I give it 3 stars is that it has a steady line, and do not completely go awry as other movies might do when trying to deal with heavy stuff like this...BUT. How the movie ends! Is absolutely heinous. How should you deal with what the "little girl" says; to have the revelation that the fat guy has? Is consciously committing suicide the way to bring enlightenment? By saying consciously, I mean by rationally choosing to end your life, for something greater than yourself and thereby as the flick depicts give you enlightenment ? Its absolutely nonsense how it is explained. Yes, I get that it might trying to say that by giving up the ego and the illusion that you are not one separate thing and everything is instead expressions of the same thing. But hey, common ! When the girl is explaining by the table about why she programmed the program, made it tiny bit interesting, that expressions in this world is all the same, anger, joy, sadness, happiness and so on, and by making this world, the parts should finally come into a revelation that everything is just an interpretation of the same thing. And by doing just that, would lead to something that never could have existed without the split up from oneness. It is just about we interpret the things we realize as reality and put it into categories. But when the heavy subject of the bad things that happen in this world is explained, it totally goes shallow and tease you with the stupidity. What does it have to do with the guy consciously choosing to give up his life, have anything to do with the subject that is the main punch of this movie. Still it shows up as the punch line.

To sum this up into a few lines.. For me, this movie just adds abit interesting thoughts to play, in a controlled setting, but totally misses to follow the depth of the subject and explanations thereafter as in a Disney movie. And ending with a "what the f€%k" feeling. Is it trying to indulge suicide as a mean to self realization ?
2 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
saw it - discussed it with friends - nobody agreed as to what this is about
zif ofoz2 December 2012
so i decided to toss my thoughts toward this odd movie.

first i think the director is playing tricks with the viewer. by this i mean the viewer must decide for himself who or which character is real and which character is not real.

the fellow sitting at the corner table with the notebook and writing constantly in it is the key to this puzzle of people. we are seeing his imagined players or characters along with the real. he's creating a story for us but we must choose the characters to believe in.

therefore it occurred to me this is a shared visualization of the notebook writing man's solipsism. some of his characters are very real - the café employees for example. the imagined ones are the fat guy with laptop and his 'little girl guide'. i believe the troubled black guy isn't real - neither are the police. it's your choice through the entire film! i have more but i've explained myself as clearly as i can. then remember the café owner is never seen - that is what triggered my interpretation.

i do so wish the director had not included that sappy ending. i was very into the action and mystery of exactly what was happening then it's as if the director just wanted to 'wrap it up' and go home. too bad!
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews