The Girl in the Café (2005)

TV Movie   |  TV-14   |    |  Drama, Romance

The Girl in the Café (2005) Poster

Lawrence, an aging, lonely civil servant falls for Gina, an enigmatic young woman. When he takes her to the G8 Summit in Reykjavik, however, their bond is tested by Lawrence's professional obligations.


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4 October 2007 | tedg
We all know, deep in our selves what we can do that we are not. And we suspect what that could mean, so there is always a place that a movie like this can touch.

If you haven't yet seen it, its a romance in the traditional movie sense, or at least it promises to be. And once it has you in that groove, with two damaged souls together in a foreign country, it switches to a different sort of fantasy: saving Africa. But as we've been inserted into the thing by one of the most powerful target stories ever discovered — the romance — we flow into it with different eyes.

Its a matter of committing. Just where in an ordinary date movie where the couple commits to each other over swelling music, here we have the 8 finance ministers (the G7 plus Russia) committing to do what we know can be done. Or do they? The movie ends with strong ambiguity, with the worst option being that someone who could, stood up.

See the engineering, the co-opting of one form for another purpose? See how deftly we are guided to where we want to be, to want to do something? See how wonderfully sticky these target stories are?

I should warn you that if you see this, you will either come away a bit more likely to actually do something. Or you will not, in which case you will plant a seed of self-loathing that may be too much to bear.

The actors here have very apt instincts, instincts that both work and are okay for TeeVee for which this was made. The stage is so small because the small screen cannot envelop two souls. So you have to do this back and forth business where the relationship has to be carried in faces and timing. I assume dialogs were shot with two cameras simultaneously.

There are three actors involved here: the two we normally see: the reluctant lovers stumbling into a future together, and a third, the politician who gets seduced into the story. In order for the transference bit to work, the two need to seduce each other according to movielaws close enough to what we know we buy it. Then they as a unit, a joined soul need to seduce the politician. Imagine the challenge for the actors.

It works.

The writing on this is so clean, so delicately balanced, and yet so forcefully energetic that I must go and watch Blackadder. I see the writer here did those, many of them.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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