Café Societyis a 2016 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen . It stars Jeannie Berlin , Steve Carell , Jesse Eisenberg , Blake Lively , Parker Posey , Kristen Stewart , Corey Stoll and Ken Stott . The plot follows a young man who moves to 1930s Los Angeles to work for his uncle who is a talent agent where he falls in love with his uncle's assistant.
on May 11, 2016and was theatrically released in the United States on July 15, 2016, by Amazon Studios and Lionsgate .It received generally positive reviews and grossed over $24 million.
Bobby Dorfman ( Jesse Eisenberg ) is the youngest son of a Jewish family in New York City in the 1930s; his elder sister Evelyn is a married school teacher, while his elder brother Ben is a gangster. Discontented with working for his father, a jeweler, Bobby decides to move to Hollywood, where he takes a job running menial errands for his uncle Phil ( Steve Carell ), a powerhouse talent agent.
Phil introduces Bobby to his secretary Veronica, nicknamed Vonnie ( Kristen Stewart ), who is tasked with helping Bobby settle into Hollywood. Bobby is drawn to her unpretentiousness as opposed to most young women living in Hollywood, and falls deeply in love with her. She rebuffs his advances, telling him she has a journalist boyfriend named Doug. In reality, "Doug" is Phil, with whom Vonnie is carrying on an illicit romance; he promises to divorce his wife and marry her.
On their first-year "paper anniversary" , Vonnie gives Phil a letter written and signed by Rudolph Valentino as a gift. However, Phil proceeds to tell her that he is incapable of divorcing his wife, so he ends the affair. Vonnie subsequently falls in love with Bobby, and they begin dating.
Phil becomes more forlorn and confides in Bobby about his affair—without naming his mistress—before telling him he has determined to divorce his wife. Bobby passingly mentions his relationship with Vonnie and his intention to marry her and return to New York. Phil begins petitioning Vonnie privately to leave Bobby and marry him instead.
While having a conversation with Phil in his office, Bobby notices the Valentino letter. Recognizing it from Vonnie's account about her breakup with "Doug", he confronts her and asks her to choose between himself and Phil. Vonnie chooses Phil.
A heartbroken Bobby returns to New York City where he begins to run a high-end nightclub with his gangster brother, Ben ( Corey Stoll ). It soon becomes a famous hangout for the rich and powerful, from politicians to gangsters. Bobby meets divorcée Veronica Hayes ( Blake Lively ) at the nightclub, and they begin dating, soon getting married and starting a family together.
On an extended visit to New York, a happily married Phil and Vonnie stop at the nightclub and insist on seeing Bobby. Although Bobby is at first unimpressed with how different a person Vonnie has become, they grow somewhat closer during an evening visiting the city ending up sharing a kiss while taking a walk in Central Park .
Upon conviction for murder, Ben is sent to the electric chair, leaving Bobby to run the nightclub alone. His late brother's notoriety propels the establishment to new heights, and Bobby travels to Los Angeles to contemplate opening a Hollywood version. He ultimately decides against it, but, before he leaves, he and Vonnie have lunch together, where she mentions that she and Phil will be returning to New York for a short visit. However, they both decide that it is better if they don't see each other.
Months later, on New Year's Eve, Bobby and Vonnie are apart—Bobby in New York City hosting festivities in his nightclub, and Vonnie with her husband at a Hollywood house party. As the new year is rung in, they both seem distant to their spouses.
“Love fades” the old woman tells Alvy Singer after his first break-up with Annie in “Annie Hall,” and it’s a kind of horror for him: that even this greatest of human feelings is temporary; that nothing lasts.
“Could it be that love doesn’t end?” Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) wonders three-quarters of the way through Woody Allen’s “Café Society,” and it’s a kind of horror for him, since he loves a woman, Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), who loves him (kinda sorta), but who’s married to his uncle Phil (Steve Carell). Must he carry this hurt through the rest of his life?
Bobby: Call Alvy. Or that old woman on the street. You’ll feel better.
“Café Society” opened both the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and, a week later, the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival (we’re sloppy seconds), but I imagine mostly for reasons of pedigree. It’s Woody, it’s got a great cast. That’s it.
It contains echoes of his earlier, better films. A New York Jew goes to Los Angeles, finds he misses New York, returns. But there’s no wit to it. Bobby doesn’t skewer Hollywood as Alvy did; it’s more of a shrug. The movie is a shrug. Like most latter-day Woody, it’s got a tinny, inauthentic quality. It’s propelled by narration (by Woody, as in “Radio Days”) that moves the characters around like chess pieces but delivers no emotional impact.
Bobby goes to LA to find work with his uncle, a Hollywood agent, who avoids him for several weeks, then gives the kid a job as a go-fer. Then he has his assistant, Vonnie, show Bobby around town. She does, he falls, but she’s got a boyfriend: a journalist who travels a lot. The boyfriend is a bit of a mystery. Watching, you think, “Who could it be? Who shouldn’t it be? Phil, right?” Yes, Uncle Phil.
But when Phil breaks it off with Vonnie, she’s distraught and finds comfort with Bobby. They’re about to move to New York and get married.
Then Phil changes his mind and takes her back. Heartbroken, Bobby returns to New York, where, inexplicably, and with the help of his gangster brother, Ben (Corey Stoll), he runs a high-end, hugely successful nightclub. Life goes on. He meets and marries Veronica (Blake Lively). Phil and Vonnie show up, with friends, and Vonnie is now like the name-dropping Hollywoodites he and she used to make fun of. Yet she isn’t. She’s still her (whoever that is). And she still loves him (whoever he is). And she tells him this when they go for a walk in Central Park.