The Girl in the Café
Runtime: 1 hr 34 min
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: David Yates
Starring: Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald, Meneka Das, Anton Lesser, Paul Ritter, Ken Stott, Federico Zanni, Penny Downie, Damon Younger
A charmingly awkward story with a strong message.
Review by: DainBinder
Added: 8 years ago
The Girl in the Café (2005) is a charmingly awkward story with a strong message about global poverty and disease.
Lawrence (Bill Nighy) is an older, tall and lanky, quiet, shy, and mild man working for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and preparing for the 2005 G8 Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland. (This is for the movie; it was not held there and cannot be since Iceland is not part of the Group of Eight.)
He gets a cup of tea one day in a cafe and cannot find an open seat other than the empty side of a booth across from a young girl named Gina (Kelly Macdonald). He politely asks if he may sit there; she says yes and slides to the right of her side as he sits on the right of his. According to her ex-boyfriend this is the "not required to talk" position. After their chit chat they agree to meet later in the week for lunch. He certainly enjoyed her company at the lunch and cannot stand to be alone at home; calling her again that same evening to go to diner. She goes, seemingly interested in him. After dinner they both head home...ring ring...he calls Gina awkwardly asking if she wants to go to the G8 with him. The next scene is filled with Rolling Stones music (watch the movie for why) and him jumping with happiness.
He is waiting for her at the airport when the plane is boarding looking at the doorway with his cute puppy dog eyes wondering if she blew him off. He sinks his head in sadness; when he raises it to get on the plane she is there standing in front of him - queue the Stones!
Perfectly placed music enhances many funny and awkward moments as well as serious ones. After his first stressful day at the G8 he is delighted to come back to the hotel to see her. After a boring day sitting around she is more than happy to be his guest for some drinks with the distinguished guests of the G8 Summit. Lawrence cringes as she speaks out of place to The Chancellor (his boss). He finds Gina reading his reports on world poverty one night - she offers some striking suggestions to get a more powerful message across. Their feelings for each other slowly grow and are pleasantly expressed by a soft kiss on the cheek.
The combination of his facts and her outspokenness may be a powerful combination for bringing the issues to the forefront of the G8. The Girl in the Café is an extremely powerful story with some surprising twists, turns, and enlightenment.
8 out of 10 - Excellently acted with strong emotions and the message that we have the ability to change how the world is.