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200 Cigarettes
1 review

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Risa Bramon Garcia

Written By:
Shana Larsen

Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Jay Mohr, Dave Chappelle, Gaby Hoffman, Courtney Love, Christina Ricci, Paul Rudd, Catherine Kellner, Martha Plimpton, Janeane Garofalo, Guillermo Díaz, Angela Featherstone, Brian McCardie, Nicole Parker, Kate Hudson, Elvis Costello

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200 Cigarettes (1999)
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Movie Review by Zara
January 24th, 2007

It's uncool to be prompt

I don't know what it is about Martha Plimpton. She's got an odd little pug-nosed face and a strange voice. Her mannerisms always strike me as painfully awkward, as if her body is fighting its way through an invisible Jello force field. But damned if that woman isn't in most of my favorite movies. Oh, 200 CIGARETTES isn't one of those, but without her in it, the movie wouldn't be one I would recommend. She adds a touch of bumbling realism to an otherwise overly surreal flick.

It's New Year's Eve, 1981, and the film is packed with various 90's cinema darlings. Everyone from Plimpton to Courtney Love to Dave Chapelle to Christina Ricci to Ben Affleck is in this damn movie. You'd think that with a cast this interesting, the movie would have the capacity to captivate. It doesn't. There are times when you will think that picking your nose would be a favorable alternative, especially during scenes with Ricci and Gaby Hoffman and their nauseating accents. But there are times that stick out like a stray curly fry in a serving of stadard spuds. You might love to hate Courtney Love, but the interaction between her character and Rudd is something that I deeply related to. This was also the first movie that I ever saw Kate Hudson in and she was so indelible here that I stayed through the credits to figure out her name, then turned to my friend who was in the theater with me and said, "That chick is going to be huge."

As an 80's fan, I had to grit my teeth to the breaking point over blatant anachronisms. Love's dress is NOT 80's. The music jumps over the span of the early 80's. Rudd has lines ("skanky ho") that showcase the fact that this was a movie made in 1999 as an opportunity to see some popular young stars play dress-up. It isn't surprising to me that this is the only major film that Garcia directed, as it is largely a wasted shot at making something that could have been much better. Yet for all of the reasons that I have for not recommending it, I still have to. It's like Martha Plimpton, what the French refer to as "Belle-laide." ("Pretty/Ugly.") Not normally what you would want to look at, but strangely fascinating at the same time.

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