Romance & Cigarettes (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Romance & Cigarettes (2007)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: This movie musical aims for fun and modern, but Romance and Cigarettes is too scattered and uneven to achieve either.

Romance & Cigarettes Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Actor and filmmaker John Turturro wrote and directed this emotionally resonant blend of music and drama. Nick Murder (James Gandolfini) is an ironworker who has been married for years to Kitty (Susan Sarandon), who works as a seamstress and is the mother of Nick's three daughters. While Nick loves his wife, his head is turned by Tula (Kate Winslet), a sexy salesgirl at a lingerie shop, and soon they're having a passionate affair. When Kitty finds out about Nick's infidelity, she becomes enraged and kicks him out of the house, forcing him to decide what he really wants out of life and what is most important to him. Along the way, many of the characters in the film periodically turn to their favorite songs to explain and amplify their emotions, lip-synching along with the original recordings. Romance & Cigarettes also stars Steve Buscemi, Mandy Moore, Christopher Walken, Eddie Izzard, and Elaine Stritch.more
Rating: R (for sexual content including some strong dialogue, and language)
Genre: Romance, Musical & Performing Arts, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: John Turturro
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 5, 2008
Box Office: $0.4M
Runtime:
Boroturro - Official Site

Cast

James Gandolfini
as Nick Murder
Elaine Stritch
as Nick's Mother
Eddie Izzard
as Gene Vincent
Amy Sedaris
as Frances
P.J. Brown
as Police Officer
Adam Le Fevre
as Fruitman
Adam LeFevre
as Fruitman
Cady Huffman
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Tonya Pinkins
as Female Medic
David Thonton
as Urologist
David Thornton
as Urologist
Kumar Pullana
as Da Da Kumar
June Stein
as Frances' Mother
Michael McElroy
as Ten Commandments Pri...
Joseph Longo
as Altar Boy
Devon McRimmon
as Altar Boy
Amedeo Turturro
as Fryburg Friend
Ryan Webb
as Fryburg Friend
Diego Turturro
as Boy on Tricycle
Katherine Turturro
as Choir Lady/Singer
Alexandra Beller
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Katherine Borowitz
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Tricia Brouk
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Mary Bond Davis
as Female Dancer & Sing...
LaRita Gaskins
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Karen Graham
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Kelly Robertson
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Daria Hardeman
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Lisa Tachick Hooper
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Wanda L. Houston
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Kate Lang Johnson
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Rosalynde LeBlanc
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Adele Meyers
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Rosetta Milardi
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Emily Molnar
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Elizabeth H. Parkins...
as Female Dancer/Singer
Nourhan Sharif
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Valerie Striar
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Rebecca Wender
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Brian Arch
as Male Dancer & Singer
Félix Blaska
as Male Dancer/Singer
James Borowitz
as Male Dancer & Singer
Joao Caravalho
as Male Dancer & Singer
Alex Escalante
as Male Dancer & Singer
Clarence Figgures
as Male Dancer & Singer
Rudy Heron
as Male Dancer & Singer
Eric Jackson
as Male Dancer & Singer
John Kelly
as Male Dancer & Singer
David Scott Klein
as Male Dancer & Singer
Victorio Korjhan
as Male Dancer & Singer
Gelan Lambert Jr.
as Male Dancer/Singer
Laurent Lambert
as Male Dancer & Singer
'Stretch' Merced
as Male Dancer & Singer
Raul Merced
as Male Dancer/Singer
Chris McGovern
as Male Dancer & Singer
Christopher McGovern
as Male Dancer/Singer
Otto Moreira
as Male Dancer & Singer
Christopher Morgan
as Male Dancer & Singer
Vincent J. Orofino
as Male Dancer & Singer
Vincent Orofino
as Male Dancer/Singer
Joseph Paparone
as Male Dancer & Singer
Joe Paparone
as Male Dancer/Singer
John Selya
as Male Dancer & Singer
Gus Solomons jr
as Male Dancer/Singer
John Turturro
as Male Dancer & Singer
Takehiro Ueyama
as Male Dancer & Singer
Dared Wright
as Male Dancer & Singer
Tom Bruno
as Fireman
Scott Friese
as Fireman
Buddy McKay
as Fireman
Dave Ryan
as Fireman
Salty Holmes
as Fireman
Kate Johnson
as Female Dancer & Sing...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Romance & Cigarettes

Critic Reviews for Romance & Cigarettes

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (22)

It shouldn't work, but there's something beautiful in Turturro's non-judgmental, almost affectionate, exposure of human love as the courting dance of clueless primates

Full Review… | January 29, 2008
I.E. Weekly
Top Critic

In a season seasoned with off-beat originality in the movies, from Lars and the Real Girl to I'm Not There, you still have not seen anything quite like John Turturro's extraordinary Romance and Cigarettes.

Full Review… | January 3, 2008
Film.com
Top Critic

How weird is John Turturro's Romance & Cigarettes? Almost indescribably weird, though also strangely involving.

Full Review… | December 21, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Romance and Cigarettes is a dark-red valentine to the way that pop music gets under our skin.

Full Review… | December 14, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

It is not every musical that features lung cancer and James Gandolfini singing along with Engelbert Humperdinck to that every-day-I-wake-up 1960s standard 'A Man Without Love.'

Full Review… | December 6, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

While it looks like it was great fun to film, it's regrettably little fun to watch.

Full Review… | December 6, 2007
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Romance & Cigarettes

½

In agreement with Jim Hunter, unless you're Paul Thomas Anderson, having actors sing along with a recording of a song IS "remarkably lame." And especially since so much of Turturro's spoken dialogue has such intriguing rhythms (Kitty's "deep" poem), he should have gone the extra mile and hired a real composer. As is, the songs aren't as thematically relevant as the ones in, say Singin' In the Rain or Moulin Rouge, exemplars of this musical subgenre in which popular songs are put into a movie instead of originally written for it.

Kate Winslet though. Man, has she got that va-va-vavoom! Love her trashy accent, her trashy dancing, her trashy talk.

aliceinpunderland
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

An adulterous man deals with his unpredictable mistress and vengeful wife ... with songs.
When I read the basic genre details about this movie, I was excited to see John Turturro's audacious musical, but I hardly consider this a real musical. After all, almost all the actors, with the exception of Mandy Moore, sing along with a recording of the song. Am I the only one who sees this as remarkably lame?
Structurally, this film is a mess. We are introduced to the offending mistress way too late into the film, and when we're meant to feel for her and suspect that she has true feelings for the adulterous man, it's too late for us to have any emotional attachment. Likewise, the subplots involving Mandy Moore's character and Cousin Bo's laments come in too late so that they seem like diverging storylines, not foils nor a complete exploration of the main characters' lives.
Overall, the plot of Romance and Cigarettes seems like as if everybody in the neighborhood had an idea, and every idea found its way into the script with little coherence.

hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Imagine,if you will, a college film school assignment to create a modern day musical ground in the late 50's and early 60's. Imagine if the student putting together such a film was able to pull in some serious heavy hitters, from Gandolfini and Walken, to Surandon and Winslett. Imagine the possibilities... I'm sure that somewhere in time, worlds collide and a film like this gets made - in part genious, in part juvinile hackism, in part serious drama and in part farcical over the top fun. Thus I give you Romance and Cigarettes, which prooves that John Turturro probably smoked too much pot in college - yet holds within it something almost magical.

Garbagemen dancing to "A World Without Love" probably says all you really need to know - it's brilliant, but at the same time it's almost laughably obvious that someone is yanking your chain *wink, wink*.

Christopher Walken channeling Elvis and then later crooning along with Tom Jones on Dalilah. Susan Surandon grooving along with the Dusty Springfield version of "Piece of My Heart", while Eddie Izzard backs her up on church organ - all you can say is "wow", especially when the tune switches into the Joplin version, with Surandon howling like a cat in heat.

Through it all there are so many things that just don't mesh and charactors who aren't fully developed. Wasted are Aida Turturro and Mary-Louise Parker, playing Surandon's children (although there is a humerous moment where they are in a girl band singing "I Want Candy" as Bobby Canaval strutts like a peacock (and his "Hot Pants" is hilarious).

Making it all worthwhile (aside from some very nice photography from the always stellar Tom Stern (see just about every Eastwood film ever made - Stern is always there), is a guttsy, no holds barred romp by Kate Winslett as the red headed embodiment of carnal love. She's bold and bawdy, with a wonderful accent - but when the film has to resort to a cat fight between Kate and Surandon - well, that just shows how wrong some of the choices were.

I'm sure that the principal actors had a ball with this, but really, the film can't be taken seriously, though I think that serious was somewhere in its resume.

An A for trying, a C in execution.

maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

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