In 1930's Hollywood, the powerful agent, Phil Stern, is attending a party and receives a phone call from his sister living in New York. She asks for a job for her son and Phil's nephew, Bobby, who decided to move to Hollywood. Three weeks later Phil schedules a meeting with Bobby and decides to help him. He asks his secretary Veronica "Vonnie" to hang around with Bobby, showing him the touristic places. Bobby immediately falls in love with Vonnie, but she tells that she has a boyfriend, a journalist that travels most of the time. However, Vonnie's boyfriend is indeed a married man that is also in love with her and soon she has to make a choice between her two loves.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As a longtime fan of Woody Allen's films I find the difficult situation of writing about an Allen film that was sub-par by Allen's standards. "Café Society" is nothing more than a parade of celebrity big name stars dressing up in 1930's wardrobe, then parading in front of the camera. Delivering boring, dour and staid lines. This was a disconnected film that had no real strong story line. It is jumble of inept plots that are supposed to connect but just don't work here. One of Allen's worse screenplay's.
The weakest link in this film is Jesse Eisenberg as the lead character Bobby. A young man who travels to Hollywood in the 1930's to find himself and his future. Eisenberg has had much success as a teen film star and recently as Lex Luthor in "Batman vs Superman," he did not do a believable job with his portrayal of Luthor. Nor does he do a good job portraying Bobby. As Bobby he just meanders through scene after scene. Yet all I could see is the teen star Jesse. He didn't transform well into a 1930's young man. In fact the entire film seem outdated as the time line. This film would have been much better had it been placed in the present time. His costar and love interest Kristen Stewart as Vonnie, fared even worse. Her character was a weak link that just did not match well with Bobby. Eisenberg and Stewart had appeared together in "American Ultra" with Eisenberg as a stoner/hit-man and Stewart as his love interest. They worked well together in that action/comedy format. Yet in "Café Society" there is no real chemistry between Bobby and Vonnie in this film.
Bobby's uncle and super talent agent Phil Stern played by Steve Carell plays his character way too serious and is wasted in this film. He constantly drops big name stars of the 1930's. Yet we never see any of them on the screen in cameos played by actors in this film. That would have given this film some credibility. The character Ben Dorfman played by Corey Stoll is added to put some action humor in the film as a gangster thug of the 1930's but it just didn't add anything or help here.
The love interest between Bobby and Vonnie is played out similar to Alvy Singer and Annie Hall played by Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in the 1977 Academy Award winning film "Annie Hall". In that film Hall/Keaton wanted a career and life in L.A. while Alvy/Allen was a true New Yorker. Same scenario pops up here Vonnie is in Hollywood, while Bobby become a night club manager in New York. While the 1930's costumes and sets are impressive. It all just comes across like an elaborate 1930's costume party. I liked Allen's film "Radio Days" a lot better. It had much more heart, soul and humor. In that film Allen took us back to his early days as a kid during the 1940's. It worked great because Allen told us his story and it was a very interesting story. Yet the 1930' "Cafe Society" is not interesting at all and seems quite phony. The only bright spot in this entire film is the brief appearance by the hot sexy lovely Blake Lively as Veronica, she livens up this dull film, if only for a very brief time.
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