cafe society (2016)

Cafe Society shares its name, and not by accident I'm guessing, with a club opened in the late 30's in Greenwich Village. Allen's film centers on the dirty work that must accompany all glitzy endeavors, from Hollywood dealings to the New York upper crust, tales of lurid affairs and a few well-hidden bodies always linger in the margins of every success story. Like the best of Allen, life in all its ups and downs, the proud and the better-off-forgotten details are fodder for comedy all the same. A younger Allen may have taken a judgmental stance, the comedy arising from an idealist stamping his feet and shouting at a great immovable void. The aged Allen, on the other hand, meets life's big questions with a shrug; whatever happens, good or bad, that girl who preoccupies your thoughts will still be the thing that eats up most of your idle daydreaming time, and somehow it's never the one you're with. It's a story Allen's told in minor variations a dozen times, and we'd get sick of hearing if it didn't continually resonate whether it's 1976 or 2016. It's a comedy about humanity that isn't populated with humans, just bumbling facsimiles that can't appreciate what they've got to save their lives. Signature Allen is the ensemble cast, with the audience face-palming the entire time because the solutions to their problems are so obvious even though these characters can't seem to see it. We'd look about the same, he always seems to wryly posit, if you turned the camera on our most embarrassing moments. We've all got a method to get life to work in our favor, too bad we can always seem to get what we need just not what we want.