Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Romance & Cigarettes is a modern day musical, a dark and passionate comedy which tells the story of one man's journey into infidelity and redemption. It is about the hero, Nick Murder, and revolves around the repercussions of his adultery and doomed fascination with the flame haired seductress Tula. For Kitty, Nick's long suffering wife, his treachery is the final straw. With faith in her husband shattered she surprises even herself with the ferocity of her anger as she struggles to cope with his betrayal. It is only through a tragic twist of fate that Nick finally understands the extent of the pain he has inflicted on his family. With time running out he discovers the essential value of Kitty's love and respect. (Icon Entertainment International) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. 100
    Romance & Cigarettes is the real thing, a film that breaks out of Hollywood jail with audacious originality, startling sexuality, heartfelt emotions, and an anarchic liberty. The actors toss their heads and run their mouths like prisoners let loose to race free.
  2. 83
    This is a movie that, off-putting as it can be at times, deserves to be seen and heard in a theater, if only to observe the reactions of others to the hilarious gutter talk coming out of Winslet's mouth.
  3. But by the end, when Gandolfini and Sarandon sing their sweet, hesitant little duet, it’s clear Turturro knew where he was going all along.
  4. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    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.
  5. 50
    It has cult item stamped all over it, and fans of (severely) experimental cinema might see it as a revelation. Most others will find that watching this movie is like having your senses beaten with a rake.
  6. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    With Walken around, hair up high, of course there are fleeting moments of fascinating weirdness, but even then, you're still moderately embarrassed for the cast.
  7. 25
    Sometimes the actors lip-sync, but more often, they're singing along with the original vocal tracks, trying to out-belt Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen, like a cadre of enthusiastic shower singers joining in with the radio. The resulting cacophony is generally harsh and sloppy, and the film follows suit.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. JimB
    Sep 15, 2009
    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
  2. RachelH.
    Jan 2, 2008
    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!!! Collapse
  3. PeterA.
    Oct 2, 2007
    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
  4. ChadS.
    Feb 13, 2008
    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
  5. Ethan
    Feb 15, 2008
    Although this movie features music, it is not necessarily a musical per se. Modern musical... maybe but its not played out to be a classic musical. First of all, when I first saw the cast list, I thought this movie was going to be amazing. Even if Turturro had to raise most of the money himself after not getting picked up for several years I still thought it would be great. However, I was unpleasantly surprised as I watched this horrible pretentious film. Although there were star performances, especially from Kate Winslet. The spectacular acting was not enough to take away from the corniness and convolution of the film. I'm not being naive in criticizing the presence of the music, I'm just saying that I think the movie would have been better if it was purely acting and lacking of the artsy portrayal through the music. A stellar cast and a horrible screenplay... this movie was too good to be true. Expand
  6. PaulS.
    Dec 1, 2007
    Wow - I saw this last night and had to walk out near the end. I could only take so much. This is a Musical. We knew that. Rules for attending a musical: 1) Never attend a musical. This movie is a musical. If you violate rule number 1, see rule number 2. 2) Make sure that the people singing in a musical actually have at least some singing talent. Think: Moulin Rouge , The Sound of Music, Chicago, or even the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Unfortunately, the people singing in this movie displayed no musical talent. I think, in some cases, some of these actors probably have at least some talent, however, no such talent was displayed during the movie. In fact they usually had the actors singing along with other people singing, probably for this reason. It did not work. If you violate rule 2, see rule 3. 3) If it is a musical and the actors have no musical talent, then a least make sure the movie is funny. This was the attempt with this movie. Unfortunately, it was not funny. Now, it did try to be funny. At times it sort of inspired a mild smile - sort of like what you get when you think "gosh, if this were done well, it would probably be pretty funny". You know Expand