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.

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Movie Info

Nick is a New York ironworker married to Kitty, a strong but gentle woman with whom he has three grown daughters. He is secretly carrying on a torrid affair with the flame-haired Tula. When his wife catches him and Tula wants a commitment, Nick finds himself a prisoner of his primal urges. A good man at heart, he must find his way back to his family before he runs of out chances. Drawing on inspirations as diverse as Charles Bukowski and "The Honeymooners," this romantic adventure features songs that are anthems of our time--from James Brown, Janis Joplin, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, Bruce Springsteen, and more--which illuminate the characters' hopes and dreams. When pushed to their breaking points (and beyond), these conflicted characters break into song, singing along--sometimes lip-synching, sometimes in full voice--with the music lodged in their subconscious.
Rating:
R (for sexual content including some strong dialogue, and language)
Genre:
Art House & International , Comedy , Musical & Performing Arts , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$398,846.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

James Gandolfini
as Nick Murder
Steve Buscemi
as Angelo
Aida Turturro
as Rosebud
Elaine Stritch
as Nick's Mother
Eddie Izzard
as Gene Vincent
Amy Sedaris
as Frances
P.J. Brown
as Police Officer
Adam LeFevre
as Fruitman
Cady Huffman
as Female Dancer & Singer
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 Priest
Joseph Longo
as Altar Boy
Devon McRimmon
as Altar Boy
Amedeo Turturro
as Fryburg Friend
Ryan Webb
as Fryburg Friend
Jacob Lumet-Cannavale
as Fryburg Friend
Diego Turturro
as Boy on Tricycle
Yianni Digaletos
as The Greek
Katherine Turturro
as Choir Lady/Singer
Alexandra Beller
as Female Dancer & Singer
Katherine Borowitz
as Female Dancer & Singer
Tricia Brouk
as Female Dancer & Singer
Mary Bond Davis
as Female Dancer & Singer
LaRita Gaskins
as Female Dancer & Singer
Karen Graham
as Female Dancer & Singer
Kelly Robertson
as Female Dancer & Singer
Daria Hardeman
as Female Dancer & Singer
Lisa Tachick Hooper
as Female Dancer & Singer
Wanda L. Houston
as Female Dancer & Singer
Kate Lang Johnson
as Female Dancer & Singer
Rosalynde LeBlanc
as Female Dancer & Singer
Adele Meyers
as Female Dancer & Singer
Rosetta Milardi
as Female Dancer & Singer
Emily Molnar
as Female Dancer & Singer
Nourhan Sharif
as Female Dancer & Singer
Elizabeth H. Parkinson
as Female Dancer/Singer
Valerie Striar
as Female Dancer & Singer
Rebecca Wender
as Female Dancer & Singer
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
Chris McGovern
as Male Dancer & Singer
Raul Merced
as Male Dancer/Singer
Otto Moreira
as Male Dancer & Singer
Christopher McGovern
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
Neil Jorgensen
as Fireman
Buddy McKay
as Fireman
Robert Morgan
as Fireman
Dave Ryan
as Fireman
Salty Holmes
as Fireman
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News & Interviews for Romance & Cigarettes

Critic Reviews for Romance & Cigarettes

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (23)

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.

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.'

December 6, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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

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.

Alice Shen
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.

Jim Hunter
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.

paul sandberg
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

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