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Series / Café Americain

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Café Americain was an American sitcom starring Valerie Bertinelli. Bertinelli played Holly Aldrige; a young American living on her own in France. Although she doesn't speak any of the language (which causes trouble for her frequently) she finds a job working as a waitress in a small cafe. At the cafe she meets a strange assortment of characters from around the world. These included Madame Ybarra, a former dictator's wife (a thinly veiled spoof of Imelda Marcos), and Fabiana Borelli, a tempestuous Italian model, and her perpetually jealous Italian lover Carlo. Holly became involved in a Will They or Won't They? relationship with Marcel, the cafe's owner.


Café Americain includes examples of:

  • American Title: Of the 'country of origin' variety: the café serves American style food.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Carlo, as demonstrated by his Catchphrase.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Played with. Holly rents a cheap apartment from which she can see the Eiffel Tower — when she leans way out of the window with a mirror.
  • I'll Kill You!: This was Carlo's Catchphrase, demonstrating his jealousy over anyone making eyes at his girlfriend.
    I kill him! I kill him bad! I kill him two times!
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: In one episode, Holly was finally given an ultimatum to learn the native language. Her initial attempts were a little less than stellar: An attempt to congratulate a newly engaged couple had her unintentionally claiming to be having an affair with the man; and one attempt to converse with her instructor/UST interest resulted in the memorable phrase "Cheese in my pants makes me happy. Don't you agree?".
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  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Madame Ybarra is a thinly-veiled spoof of Imelda Marcos.
  • Not a Date: Holly keeps insisting that her night out with Marcel is not a date until her friend says:
    "Is he paying? Did you shave your legs? Then it's a date."
  • The Place
  • Retired Monster: Madame Ybarra, widow to a late former dictator who was recently overthrown—paralleling the Real Life events of the 1986 Philippine People Power "Revolution", which did in fact kick out the Marcos regime.
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: In one episode, a character sleeps overnight in a winery on a catwalk above the vats and ends up in inhaling wine fumes all night. He wakes up completely tanked. Hilarity Ensues as he was at the winery as part of an attempt to impress his finacee's family, who owned the winery.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Holly and Marcel