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Weekend Recommendation: The Girl in the Cafe

May 25, 2007

Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald in The Girl in The CafeThis weekend, should you be browsing the video shelves looking for something different than the usual fare, I highly recommend The Girl in the Cafe written by Richard Curtis and directed by David Yates.

This is a very British Romantic Comedy leaning more in the direction of a quiet and poignant romance than silly British romp.

Bill Nighy plays a British finance minister whose life does not often venture out of his routine of civil service drudgery. The day he meets the young Gina is the day he begins to change, slightly.

A well-written piece, this isn’t a love-will-heal-the-world M.O.W, nor is it a fluffy romantic comedy. What it does is manage to capture the complexity of both human relationships and contemporary global political affairs in a way that is quintessential Richard Curtis. If you enjoyed Love Actually, you’re likely to enjoy this piece.

This is actually also a wonderful opportunity to see the acting talents of Bill Nighy when it’s not buried in a bowl of calamari salad. Nighy unsurprisingly, does stodgy Englishman well, but it’s the nuance of quiet desperation and quiet longing that make this performance one to watch.

His co-star Kelly Macdonald is the bright and sweet romantic interest, but she is more than apple of his eye, some of the best moments are when she speaks up to the political injustice she sees around her. There is a lot going on behind those eyes.

Both Nighy and Macdonald were nominated for a Golden Globe for their performances, but it was Macdonald that would eventually win an Emmy for her performance.

The Girl in the Cafe will likely charm you, but it will also make you think. When so much entertainment out there feels like it is taking something away, this film leaves you feeling full. Considering how painful it can be to pay attention to contemporary Global politics, The Girl in the Cafe successfully gets in a little knowledge with your entertainment. You’ll wish more films were as well-balanced as this one.

Enjoy your long weekend!

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