Caffeine
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Every day at London’s Black Cat Café, friends gather for a cup of coffee and some light conversation. But on one fateful afternoon, something else is brewing—and it’s about to boil over.

After a late night of partying, the staff members at the Black Cat aren’t exactly at their best. But to make matters worse, Rachel (Marsha Thomason), the manager, just fired her boyfriend, the café’s chef, Charlie (Callum Blue), after he drunkenly confessed to cheating on her—and now they’ve got to try to make do without him. That leaves three: Tom (Mark Pellegrino), who’s trying (unsuccessfully) to take over as chef, Dylan (Breckin Meyer), a novelist who’s nervously waiting to hear back from his agent, and Vanessa (Mena Suvari), who’s trying to keep her crazy grandma hidden in a corner of the café.

  
 
Meanwhile, the café is packed with customers who are spilling secrets all over the place. There’s bookworm Gloria (Sonya Walger), whose controlling boyfriend discovers (thanks to another male patron) that she starred in a few porno flicks to pay her way through college. There’s Mike (Andrew Lee Potts), who’s trying to get over his ex-girlfriend while dealing with all kinds of secret fears and phobias. There are prim and proper businessmen and people on blind dates—all with an embarrassing skeleton or two in their closet. Even a few members of the staff have something they’re hiding. Some of them share openly, while others need to be backed into a corner before they’ll come clean.

Packed with more dirty little secrets than an episode of The Jerry Springer Show, Caffeine is a fun and irreverent little indie that’s full of hilarious surprises. Though not all of the jokes work all the time, when they do work, they really work—and they’ll likely have you doubled up laughing. Keep an eye out, especially, for the Crazy Grandma (played by Roz Witt). Because just when things seem to be slowing down, she’ll jump in to shake things up again.

Of course, Caffeine isn’t without its flaws. The sound mixing is sometimes a bit off—and the music drowns out some of the dialogue. And Mena Suvari’s bad British accent gets distracting at times (fortunately, Breckin Meyer gracefully admits defeat and sticks to his American accent). But overall, this spicy little film is good for a few laughs. If it makes it to a theater—or a video store—near you, it’s worth checking out.

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