Adventureland (2009) and last year's American Ultra.
Whereas so many recent movies leave one feeling sorry for the actors, Cafe Society keeps displaying good taste in showcasing actresses like Parker Posey (who plays Rad, a helpful socialite who befriends Bobby) and Blake Lively (who looks gorgeous as Bobby's eventual WASP wife, Veronica). While another filmmaker might've made some point about the miseries of the depression era, Allen scarcely acknowledges it, instead focusing on the gangster-infused high life of upper class New York that sometimes reminded me of the oblique social observations in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. When Bobby runs into some romantic disappointment, Allen also scarcely dwells on that either, as if he doesn't have time for any moping about. We can hear Allen's voiceover as the movie builds to a romantic triangle between Bobby, Vonnie, and Bobby's uncle Phil Stern, the high-powered Hollywood agent again agreeably played by Steve Carell. After seeing Carell's work in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012), showcasing an ersatz blend of soft humor and sickly apocalyptic sentimentality, I didn't have much hope for him, but he's well-suited as a surprisingly sympathetic variation of the scumbag Sheldrake in The Apartment. Given Stern's many connections to everyone in the film industry, one can see why Vonnie could like him.
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