The Girl In The Cafe

“Sometimes it falls to a generation to be great,
You can be that generation”

Nelson Mandela 2005

This was the on screen closing quote from a wonderful movie I watched tonight.
The Girl In The Cafe was written by the same guy who wrote 4 Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually.
Although the same quirky romantic comedy element was present this movie carried with it a depth that shocked and disturbed me. How far, really, how far would you go to stand up for those who can not stand up for themselves?

HBO synopsis says –
The Girl in the Cafè is both a romantic character drama with comedic elements, and a powerful political wake-up call by Richard Curtis, the acclaimed writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually. Curtis’ first film since Love Actually, The Girl in the Cafè literally addresses one the most important questions of 2005: Will this be the year when world powers seriously address the issue of world poverty once and for all? The film is a passionate plea to humankind – wrapped in a love story, a comedy and a unique drama. It is a call to arms that shamelessly sets out to entertain, inform and challenge audiences to act. Above all, the film seeks to raise awareness about the important political choices facing the G8 leaders at the next Summit, in Scotland in 2005, and for all of our actions to match our principles.
…The Girl in the Cafè follows the journey of Lawrence, a lonely bureaucrat working for the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, after he meets an enigmatic woman named Gina in a cafè. After a couple of dates, he takes a chance and invites her on a weekend trip to Reykjavik, where he’ll be working the G8 conference. His team’s hope is to push an agenda the Millennium Goals agreed to at the 2000 G8, which if met will greatly decrease world poverty by 2015. This conference is especially crucial, as little has been pledged so far, but compromise is almost always a given.
As she learns more, Gina (to Lawrence’s initial horror) becomes increasingly outspoken at the conference, challenging his boss, representatives of other nations, and even the English Prime Minister to do more to end poverty and save dying mothers and children. For his part, Lawrence begins to wonder who Gina really is, even as their physical connection intensifies. Lawrence’s bosses warn him that Gina may cost him his job – the one thing he ever cared about until Gina. While the romance reaches a bittersweet place, Gina’s courage ends up changing Lawrence’s staid life – and perhaps even influences the politicians who wield the power to save millions of lives.

“Poverty is not natural. It is man made and can be overcome by the actions of human beings.”

Nelson Mandela

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