The Girl in the Café (TV Movie 2005) - Plot Summary Poster

(2005 TV Movie)


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  • 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.

  • Lawrence is a reserved civil servant who has worked for the British government for years. When he meets the much younger Gina in a café, he is immediately smitten. Feeling uncharacteristically impetuous, Lawrence invites her to join him on a business trip to Reykjavik for the G-8 summit. Gina, not one to hold her thoughts back, surprises Lawrence with her blunt political opinions, and he must balance his affection for her with the propriety of his position.

  • 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.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • As powerful a film as I can remember, made more powerful by the subtle, gentle development of the two characters by Richard Curtis. Matters of the heart brought to the global stage so effectively that you cannot look away....cannot look away...cannot look away. A couple both as shy as each other meet in a cafe. There are no other tables and so Lawrence, a timid, dedicated civil servant finds himself sitting not quite opposite Gina, a quiet, beautiful young girl. They begin to talk haltingly to each other. She is a mystery but stirs something in Lawrence for the fist time in a long time. In a stumbling attempt Lawrence asks Gina out for dinner. To his surprise she agrees .He works for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and has to go to Iceland for the G8 Summit. The year is 2005. He asks her to go with him. She says yes. As he has not made it clear he needs 2 rooms, they are together in the hotel room with one double bed. He begs her to believe he did not do this on purpose. He explains to her about how important it is to get the Summit to agree to a promise they made in the year 2000 in regard to world poverty. Whilst there she implores the Chancellor to do the right thing for the people who are dying in the world every 3 seconds. This, of course, does not go down well with Lawrence's boss. To compound the problem she again speaks out passionately at the formal dinner where all of the Heads of State are attending. She is asked to leave and Lawrence is disgraced. He takes her to the airport devastated. He has lost his job and the woman he could have loved. Neither feel worthy of the other and they part. Lawrence stands at the airport screaming and crying.

    But wait - he calls her and tells her to turn on her television just as the results of the G8 summit are being announced..for which he and his fellow English people have fought valiantly, trying to keep alive the promises made in 2000. That's the last scene!

    In this movie appears Wolf Kahler who played Ludendorff, chemist and close friend of Fritz Shimon Haber's in Haber (2008).

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