Cafe de Flore is well edited and visually captivating but as the trippy film unravels, its really an emotionally shallow drama whose transcendent musings on love becomes an excuse for the wandering male gaze.
The film chronicles the parallel fates of Jacqueline, a young mother with a disabled son in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently divorced, successful DJ in present day Montreal.
Cafe de Flore is an atmospheric, visually stunning, and emotional film that explores the mysteries of love. Jump cuts, dynamic camera work and life-affirming music transport you between two unrelated stories. This is supported by solid performances from the whole cast.
The film proved to be interesting at first but becomes repetitive as it tries to build up a connection. Similarities do appear after elaborate visual sequences, but they’re not enough to solve the mystery that it has set up.
Jaqueline, a dedicated young mother played by Vanessa Paradis, struggles to let go as his son comes to his own. Carole, a divorcee with two children played by Helene Florent, struggles to accept that her true love has found another “soul mate”.
Both sides share the obsessive, youthful, and tragic mix of love, but there’s no compelling connection between the two stories. Instead Cafe de Flore would like you to believe that love is a timeless and powerful thing that its characters have no control of, such as a middle-aged man who left his family for a younger, sexier and stunning blonde.
Cafe de Flore has all the endearing dreamy flourishes that comes with art films and more, but its emotionally shallow and manipulative.
My Rating: 6/10