For once, "quiet" doesn't mean boring

Anyone who knows me knows I'm pretty much the last person on earth to see a film with the spectacularly boring title of "The Girl in the Cafe," particularly if said film takes place at, of all places, a G8 conference, and even more particularly if said film is described, in nearly every review, as "quiet" or "meditative" or any of those other codewords critics use for "movie I fell asleep halfway through, though people tell me it's a brilliantly muted study of the human condition."

And yet I watched "The Girl in the Cafe," mainly because of TiVo, which allows me to record all manner of potentially awful movies, scoff at them, then promptly delete them and watch the Rock of Love reunion show one more time.

Can I just say, then, how surprised I was that "The Girl in the Cafe" was not only good, not only moving, but full-on riveting? It was, in fact, a case study in how a movie with very little action, a whole lot of pregnant pauses, a good deal of quiet awkwardness, can keep you on the edge of your seat for just under two hours.

All of which is to say: you should see "The Girl in the Cafe," if you haven't already. I'd write more, and better, if only it weren't approximately eight million degrees.


aaron said...


I have watched bits and pieces of this, but never got engrossed in Mike fashion. I will say though, that the All Movie synopsis is kind of funny:

"Ultimately, the time comes when both Lawrence and Gina must make crucial decisions, with not only their own future but also the future of humankind in the balance."

A G8 conference to decide the fate of humanity? Really?

A quiet but not boring film I dug was I Capture the Castle, also with Bill Nighy, and also Romola Garai, which is why I watched it...that and Dirty Dancing 2...

Mike said...

I'll admit, Aaron, that the "saving the world" subplot, which the filmmakers may have intended as the plot-plot, didn't interest me as much as it was probably supposed to. (the end, then, was a bit of a let-down; a little preachy for my taste, but, well, you can just close your eyes for that 30 seconds).