Café Society [2016] ★★½

 21-cafe-society-nocrop-w529-h835Woody Allen’s love letter to Hollywood and New York in the 1930’s is everything you would expect from the man himself: beautiful cinematography, endless movie references and an elegant production design. And yet, “Café Society” is nowhere near his best work. It’s far from being a disaster; in fact I had a good time watching it. But once it ended, I didn’t feel the need tell everyone about it, as I often do when it comes to Woody Allen films. Jesse Eisenberg plays a young New Yorker who decides to give Hollywood a shot, where the only person he knows is his uncle (an amusing Steve Carell) who also happens to be a well known agent. Of course, he will meet a woman (Kristen Stewart). Of course, he will fall in love. Of course, this is a doomed love story. Even Woody Allen (who narrates the story) doesn’t add much to the film. And yet, when the story falters or an actor fails to deliver, vintage Hollywood and New York stay fresh and dynamic. I think that’s reason enough to check out “Café Society”.

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