HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
   
 
Newest Articles
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
   
 
  Romance & Cigarettes Sing When You're LosingBuy this film here.
Year: 2005
Director: John Turturro
Stars: James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, Christopher Walken, Barbara Sukowa, Elaine Stritch, Eddie Izzard, Amy Sedaris, P.J. Brown, Adam LeFevre, John Turturro
Genre: Musical, Romance, Weirdo
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nick Murder (James Gandolfini) is a harrassed father of three daughters whose relationship with his wife Kitty (Susan Sarandon) is in jeopardy when he returns home from work one day to find she has discovered an explicit love poem he has written - but not to her. Nick tries to cover for himself, but Kitty is having none of it and a shouting match erupts with him yelling at her that she should have stayed with her first love, a remark that the daughters are left wondering about. Filled with angst, Nick stumbles out into the street, singing Engelbert Humperdinck's "A Man without Love" while various people around him, including the refuse collectors and passersby, join in, creating a ode to Nick's conflicted feelings...

Dennis Potter has a lot to answer for, as John Turturro, working from his own script, takes the template of a basic drama adorned with the cast singing or miming along to old songs on the soundtrack and fashions his own blue collar romance out of it. Appearing to be set in the present day, it dips into songs from the past century for its musical elements, and sets out its stall early on with that scene described above. Frustratingly, few of the songs are played in their entirety - not that I was particularly enamoured of Gandolfini's singing, but some numbers deserved to go on a little longer to give the songs room to breathe.

There is another woman in Nick's life, and she is Tula, played by Kate Winslet with a foul mouth and a thick Northern English accent for reasons best known to herself. Crowned with bright red tresses, she seems more like an actress trying to break out of her more accustomed performances, and pulls it off, whether dancing and singing or indulging in a lot of plain speaking. The story these characters inhabit is pretty basic - man has affair, splits from his wife, tragedy brings them back together - but the presentation of that story is so bizarre for the most part that it's difficult to get a handle on. Indeed, it's tempting to write the whole thing off as a complete mess, but there's something about a noble folly like this that brings its own enjoyment, and with these names in the cast it demands attention.

Even if that attention is more of the ogling a terrible mistake variety than the daring work of art that presumably was intended. In that cast you can witness Sarandon competing in a musical catfight with Winslet after Kitty tracks Tula down to her place of work, Steve Buscemi as Nick's workmate offering unlikely sexual fantasies, and Christopher Walken as Cousin Bo not only singing along with Tom Jones' "Delilah", but acting out the lyrics through the medium of dance (it's a real pity he wasn't able to show off his Terpsichorean skills in more, earlier films). On the way, Nick undergoes circumcision which he thinks will please Tula sexually (she is quite flattered), and finds that after all this, he prefers the woman he married - but she won't have him back. It's only as the story moves into its final act that the tone mellows to a more sorrowful one and the over the top aspects that have previously held sway are let go, with unexpectedly touching effect. Romance & Cigarettes may well be ridiculous, somewhere between absolutely appalling and oddly fascinating, but that just makes it all the more worthwhile - it's not afraid to take chances, and that's to be applauded.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3266 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: