My 5.16 Cannes review reposted in recognition of a new trailer: “Woody Allen‘s Cafe Society is an attractively composed period dramedy (a few laughs but hardly a torrent) that plays it mild and steady and familiar. But it’s a fine Woody hit-list thing with a compelling if familiar moral undertow. There’s no way anyone who’s even half-acquainted with the Allen realm is going to be disappointed. Is it a bust-out in the vein of Midnight in Paris? No, but it’ll do until the next one comes along. It’s fine, it’s good — just don’t expect any big surprises.
“Set in Los Angeles and New York over a two-year period in the mid ’30s, Cafe Society is a romantic triangle piece mixed with a hard-knocks, get-tough saga. It’s witty more than funny, but it’s really great when the laughs land. How many good laughs does it have? Not more than 20 or 25. I laughed maybe 10 or 12 times but I didn’t mind because it’s not about hah-hah but fuck-me.
“It’s a romance-gone-wrong thing that deals with sadness, moral ambiguity, disappointment. It’s too mired in hurt to be called a light-touch thing, but it does kind of glide along in a way that lets you know nothing awful or grotesque will occur.