User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 3 out of 11
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  1. PeterA.
    Oct 2, 2007
    7
    While this movie certainly has its merits, it's probably one of those "noble failures" that is great to watch for movie buffs and interesting to see as a film experiment, but ultimately doesn't really work. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, and some moments actually worked really, really well. Buscemi and Walken fans won't be let down, as they play another While this movie certainly has its merits, it's probably one of those "noble failures" that is great to watch for movie buffs and interesting to see as a film experiment, but ultimately doesn't really work. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, and some moments actually worked really, really well. Buscemi and Walken fans won't be let down, as they play another variation on their weirdo theme, but fortunately once again to good effect. Winslet really can do anything, and this movie is another great performance from her. And don't get me started on Elaine Stritch! What a hoot. Honestly, if the idea of seeing all these people in the same movie together has appeal for you, you'll probably find much to enjoy. As to the songs, I would have preferred genuine performances from the cast as opposed to them "singing along" with another recording of the song; it made for sort of an amateurish performance, which is maybe what Turturro wanted, but not what I want in a movie musical. Expand
  2. RachelH.
    Jan 2, 2008
    10
    AWESOME hysterically funny star casted movie. Bound to be a cult classic. Christopher Walker..YES YES YES!!!! Susan Surandan double yes. Mary Louise Parker...hysterical...Mandy Moore..who knew she was so good? And Kate Winslet steels the show totally AMAZING in this role..she blows us all away. Full of camp.nostalgia....over the top hilarity..a kind of absurd and demented west side story AWESOME hysterically funny star casted movie. Bound to be a cult classic. Christopher Walker..YES YES YES!!!! Susan Surandan double yes. Mary Louise Parker...hysterical...Mandy Moore..who knew she was so good? And Kate Winslet steels the show totally AMAZING in this role..she blows us all away. Full of camp.nostalgia....over the top hilarity..a kind of absurd and demented west side story back drop...full of delicious archetypes and yummy stereotypes all in humor and wit. We LOVE IT!!! Expand
  3. ChadS.
    Feb 13, 2008
    7
    Two separate but intertwined dialectics propel the narrative in "Romance and Cigarettes", a gently provocative neo-musical that makes us aware of our over-reliance on other people's words and music to express love and love-related matters. The first dialectic vies poetry against the hegemony of popular song, whose dominancy can be traced to poetry's transformation to free-verse Two separate but intertwined dialectics propel the narrative in "Romance and Cigarettes", a gently provocative neo-musical that makes us aware of our over-reliance on other people's words and music to express love and love-related matters. The first dialectic vies poetry against the hegemony of popular song, whose dominancy can be traced to poetry's transformation to free-verse during the mid-twentieth century. A lot of people think they know poetry; that a poem is supposed to rhyme, people like Nick(James Gandolfini) and Kitty(the ageless and exquisite Susan Sarandon), who unleash their vulgar couplets of doggerel at each other, when the wife discovers that her husband had been unfaithful. The second dialectic vies popular music against "alternative" music. Engelbert Humperdinck's "A Man Without Love"(a Top-five hit from 1968) plays in Nick's head as he dreams of Tula(Kate Winslet), his mistress. A commercial song is like a greeting card; the sentiment may hail from one's heart, but it's a commodified heart; love as nurture(in the musical number, we see other people using the song as a means to an end), rather than nature(a genuine feeling for another person as expressed in terms of the song's originality and relative obscurity). Alternative music is a commodity, too; make no mistake of this, but Ute Lemper's "Little Water Song" feels more personal, more organic than the Humperdinck smash, which the film illustrates by isolating Tula underwater without any human interference. "Romance and Cigarettes" exquisitely shows us how Tula's love is deeper than Nick's. Although poetry will never again surpass popular song in the hearts and minds of the hoi polloi, Nick gives "The Girl That I Marry" some gravitas by reading Irving Berlin's lyrics as if it WERE poetry, before Kitty accompanies her husband in a cappella style, the song, now personalized by oral recitation, seems more like a sung poem than a commercialized song(the rendering of musical notation is what makes the song a popular art). "Romance and Cigarettes" has a lot to say about how people express love. We don't know how, according to the filmmaker, so we let anybody from George Gershwin("Follow my lead, oh, how I need/ someone to watch over me") to Iggy Pop("I hear her heart beating, loud as thunder/saw the stars crashing) to do it for us. Expand
  4. JimB
    Sep 15, 2009
    10
    The film is a truly a magnificent work of art. I've read dozens of comments and they all seem to drag down the film as 'a good try' or a flop; but they compare the film which you just can't do to this film. It stands alone and is art and good film art. The film is actually very deep and very meaningful. Cigarette addiction is like a demon inside you it can tear you in The film is a truly a magnificent work of art. I've read dozens of comments and they all seem to drag down the film as 'a good try' or a flop; but they compare the film which you just can't do to this film. It stands alone and is art and good film art. The film is actually very deep and very meaningful. Cigarette addiction is like a demon inside you it can tear you in half trying to rid yourself of the addiction that Expand
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. 75
    It's almost unfair to make the comparison because there are so many fundamental differences, but the closest recent movie to Romance and Cigarettes is "Moulin Rouge." The key likeness is easy to spot: the characters spontaneously break into familiar pop songs.
  2. The sad result is a karaoke nightmare. Loud and pointlessly crude, the film takes the disintegration of a dysfunctional working-class family and gives it the song-and-dance treatment.
  3. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    Chockfull of ideas and with an irreverence that irresistibly recalls late '60s American cinema, thesp John Turturro's third outing in the helmer's chair, Romance & Cigarettes, alternately shines and sputters.