Experience the Darker Side of Love

by Brittney Thompson

How could one not celebrate Valentine’s Day this year without watching a movie guaranteed to emit second-hand embarrassment from its blundering characters? The Girl in the Cafe is one of those movies that reminds viewers (should one’s February 14th not go swimmingly) things could always be worse. Screenwriter Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary) never fails to do just this to audiences. David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts 1&2) directs Curtis’s painfully awkward romantic dramedy, The Girl in the Café, starring Bill Nighy (Pirate Radio, Love Actually) as Lawrence: a socially backwards gentleman who works for the British Prime Minister as a well-paid and prestigious number cruncher for the global economy. Lawrence is tired of being alone and by a random twist of fate meets Gina (Kelly Macdonald) in a coffee shop where he decides to take a chance on a follow up date. He eventually brings her along to a G8 summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.  This becomes problematic when Lawrence learns of Gina’s outspoken nature. Their relationship is one to make viewers cringe with the highly intense romantic tension that begs resolution. This movie is an emotional train wreck that incites the audience to peek at the screen through fingers—it is a story in which one must see what happens next even though you almost certainly know it won’t be good for any of the characters.  Along with the romantic emotional dilemma the main couple experiences, Curtis and Yates provide audience members a lesson on the more cold-hearted side of how Foreign Policy and Globalization is viewed by those in charge and how it is organized and considered.

A very happy un-Valentine to you, indeed!

This film is available for checkout by members of the University community in the Media Resources department in Ekstrom library.  It’s a part of the SGA Video Collection.

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