Local, Movie Reviews

Romance & Cigarettes

Posted: December 21, 2007 at 9:26 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The long delayed New York based musical by John Turturro finally gets to show its face, and sadly, outside of a few good laughs here and there this one is not a winner.
The film has no direction at all for 2/3 of the film. It feels like a random splattering of scenes most of the time and is just all over the place with no plot line really to follow. There are a couple of good laughs sprinkled throughout, i.e. if Christopher Walken or Steve Buscemi are on screen, but most of the time you are left wondering what the hell is going on. Random imaginary sequences pop in here and there, the dance numbers are fun, silly, and probably the best part of the film, the songs used are ok and usually feel appropriate but still a bit random; its all a bit random. The movie is all over the place so much I really can’t even figure out how to explain it.
The final third of the movie has stability but it stops being funny as James Gandolfini’s character seeks redemption for cheating on his wife as he is slowly killed by his lung cancer. The scenes work, are well done, and are even a bit touching, but again, randomly different then the rest of the film. The movie just never seems to know what it wants to be and we don’t know what to expect ever.
The actors are all a bit over the top and ridiculous but with a cast including Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, Mary Louise Parker, and the three fore mentioned males you would think this would be a bit better, but it is not.
Turturro’s film has a number of bright spots, but as an overall film, it just doesn’t work. My girlfriend felt like she was in the theater for 4hrs for a 1:45min movie, and she would give it a 3 because she “liked the dancing.” Either way, it’s a major disappointment, and I guess the studios knew what they were doing when they passed on this film for the last couple of years.