The Girl in the Cafe (2005) – Starts Incredibly, Ends Terribly
The Girl in the Cafe is one of the movies I heard about too many times, but never have an opportunity to watch. Until yesterday. I’ve read a story line and I’ve known some basic facts: both made me prepare for “Lost in Translation 2”. Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald and Ken Stott as casting crew, as well as David Yates and Richard Curtis as creators led me to believe I was going to watch an artistic romantic comedy. Could I be more wrong than that? Here’s my honest review, although I think I would disagree with majority of viewers about this movie!
The beginning of the movie was absolutely charming! Shy and reserved older guy Lawrence (Bill Nighy) falling in love with beautiful and enigmatic young Gina (Kelly Macdonald) might seem funny and awkward at times, but the authors and actors did the great job. I believed in their love story and kept my fingers crossed for them to work out. They didn’t seem to be a match made in heaven, but a lovely romance could be just as good as it gets.
However, what started as a cute story turned out to be nothing but a propaganda! I don’t have problems with social activism and efforts to end world hunger, but why did the authors mix their political commercial with a romantic story line? As in any other preachy work of art, the level of manipulation is pretty high, especially those snaps while the credits roll at the end of the film. This just makes me nervous and betrayed, although it should make me think and do something to stop poverty in Africa. But, it’s not the only thing that made me disappointed. The other thing was Gina turning into a political crusader! Not that I don’t care for her lines and opinions, it’s just that I can’ buy this from a person who has just found out about this issue reading a pamphlet?! But, what bothers me even more is her betrayal of Lawrence, although I’m sure she believed in doing the right thing, it was completely selfish! If you love someone, you don’t want to ruin his life, career and to lose him just in the name of a higher cause.
Finally, I don’t want to sound completely disappointed. I’m actually glad I’ve watched The Girl in the Cafe, actors gave an excellent performance and the soundtrack is, needless to say, fantastic! Political story is, on the other hand, far fetched and repulsive.