200 Cigarettes

"Good"

200 Cigarettes Review


At first I was highly dubious about "200 Cigarettes." From whatI'd seen before hand, it looked like mediocre script at which the producersthrew a lot of hip actors hoping the cast would hoist it up to their level.And after all, it's a soundtrack-driven product of MTV Films -- not exactlya proud pedigree.

I'm delighted to report I was very much mistaken.

An ensemble comedy with a cast of a dozen breakout starsall traipsing through Manhattan misadventures on their separate ways tothe same party on New Year's Eve 1981, "Cigarettes" has a capricioushum about it and the same non-stop brand of comedic timing (although adifferent brand of comedy) that was honed to perfection in "There'sSomething About Mary"

Although it's an unpolished effort from movie newbies ShanaLarsen (writer) and Risa Bramon Garcia (director), there are no wastedscenes, no busted jokes, and a number of comedic crescendos that will sendyou roaring over the back of your chair. This is funny stuff.

The players and their plots shake out like this:

East Village misery-addict Paul Rudd ("Clueless")and his promiscuous, platonic pal Courtney Love battle long-buried romanticpredilections. Katie Hudson -- the 19-year-old daughter of Goldie Hawnwho has inherited her mother's looks and her pratfall proficiency -- losesher virginity to flabbergasted commitment-phobe Jay Mohr ("Mafia!").Gaudily over-dressed Christina Ricci sports an gloriously grating LongIsland accent as she and Gaby Hoffman get hopelessly lost in Alphabet Cityafter misplacing the party address.

Madonna wannabe Angela Featherstone (following "TheWedding Singer" with another '80s flashback) and petulant pal NicoleParker ("Boogie Nights") comb the bars in a superstitious frenzy,convinced if they don't wake up New Year's Day in bed with cute guys they'llspend the whole year alone. One of their candidates is a surprisingly self-mockingBen Affleck, playing a klutzy bartender and inept Casanova.

Meanwhile, the neurotic hostess of the party (Martha Plimpton)is in hysterics because midnight is rapidly advancing and her only guestsso far have been one fair-weather friend who abandons her for peppier pasturesand an ex-boyfriend in the middle of a sexual anxiety crisis.

And I haven't even mentioned the two best performancesin the picture: Janeane Garofalo as a bitter (naturally) budding rock starand Dave Chappelle, who plays the super-smooth, jive-talking cabbie thatties all the stories together.

Of course, the inevitable culmination of all this willbe happy endings and a successful party. But "200 Cigarettes"is not entirely predictable along the way and, unlike "The WeddingSinger," it doesn't depend on '80s shtick for its laughs.

Sure there's neon cowl necks sweaters, florescent fishnets,Aqua Net hair helmets, guys in eyeliner, chunky chokers, two-pound earringsand other New Wave fashion atrocities. There's also the occasional butsubtle pop culture icon (a shouldered boom box, a ring watch, Elvis Costelloin a cameo). But all of this is incidental. The comedy comes first, theself-aware goofs on Generation X, The Early Years come second, and that'swhy it will be just as funny in 2009 as it is in 1999.

And with this cast of edge-of-super-stardom players, "200Cigs" will definitely be remembered in 2009, like "American Graffiti,""Diner" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" are rememberednow for launching or accelerating humongous careers.

Ben Affleck and Christina Ricci have already become marquee-powerstars in the last 12 months, and Love, Garofalo, Hudson, Mohr, Rudd Chappelleand Plimpton (who already has a lucrative indie career) are hot on their



200 Cigarettes

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th February 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $6.9M

Budget: $6M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 43

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Risa Bramon Garcia

Starring: as Bartender, as Tom, as Disco Cabbie, as Cindy, as Ellie, as Lucy, as Jack, as Bridget, as Monica, as Val, as Kevin

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.