Cafe Society was a typical, run of the mill, predictable Woody Allen romantic dramedy. With a star studded cast, Allen again muses sardonically on love and relationships, albeit only superficially. The main cast, in particular Jesse Eisenberg, were individually good but lacked chemistry together.
The film, and its set design, were beautiful with an authentic 30s NYC/LA feel to it. Costuming did a commendable job too. While Allen kept a keen eye on the aesthetics of the film, his exploration - or musings - on love was a lot more superficial this time. With just a perfunctory circling on the dilemma of loving more than one person at a time and a cursory meditation on Tennyson's wise adage of "'This better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all",
Eisenberg gave a strong performance here as he evolved his character through the film in both a distinctive physical way and a more subtle emotional growth. But yet, there were some nuances to his character that did not change which formed the bedrock of his character.
Kirsten Stewart veers away from her Twilight days and we do see a versatile actress beneath that luminosity. However, she did not have any chemistry with either Eisenberg or Steve Carell which made selling the underlying romance that tied the story together difficult.
Blake Lively is just there to be pretty. Parker Posey and Carell should be in more of Allen's films.
The annual Woody Allen film is almost an event unto itself and this film does not disappoint his fans, but to the casual moviegoer - or Allen newbie - it can be a bit blend and blah.