Film Review: “Cafe Society” (2016)

cafe societyI have a complicated relationship with Woody Allen’s movies. On one hand, I love their general mood and beautiful visuals. On the other – I am increasingly disappointed by the scripts. They seem to be telling the same story over and over again, and the quality of this story is, sadly, not improving. My opinion of “Cafe Society” is very much in line with this.


The movie is a story of a young man coming to Hollywood looking for something more exciting than work with his father. He is hired by his uncle, a Hollywood producer, and discovers the ups and downs of living in Tinseltown. He also falls in love with his uncle’s secretary, Vonnie. As per usual in Woody Allen’s movies, no love story is ever that simple.

The good

I love, love, LOVE the visuals. It’s no surprise, really – the movie takes place in 1930s Hollywood and New York City. I mean, it doesn’t get better than that for me. All the costumes, scenography and music are simply enchanting. Chanel played a big part in the creation of costumes for the movie and it shows! The glamour is breathtaking! The cast is very good – Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Corey Stall and Blake Lively, as well as Anna Camp who is a very funny one scene wonder.

The movie’s soundtrack is full of wonderful, light variations on well-known melodies such as “The Lady Is A Tramp, “Jeepers Creepers” and “Have You Met Miss Jones?”. I’m listening to it as I’m writing this review and it’s delightful, jazzy, easy listening.

The not-so-good

I’m not very happy with the story of the movie. I’m not even entirely sure that the title is relevant. I would expect some analysis of Hollywood or New York’s cafe society, but apart from a few voice-over anecdotes, the plot really focuses on the rather unexciting love triangle.

Now, I don’t want to discourage anyone! I have a certain taste in movies, which is dictated by my personal preferences and education I’ve received throughout the years. Watching this movie I felt like yes, scenes happened in some order. But there was no real plot to the movie, no culmination, no resolution. Just events happening, one after the other, without structure. I’m sure that this will not be everyone’s opinion.

The verdict

If you like Woody Allen’s movies, are excited about retro fashion, are looking for light entertainment and a few laughs – by all means go and see it!

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All pictures from The Woody Allen Pages.