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Romance and Cigarettes
DVD disk
03.07.2008 By: Sturdy
Romance and Cigarettes order
Director:
John Turturro

Actors:
James Gandolfini
Susan Sarandon
Kate Winslet

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A married couple is ripped apart when the husbandís infidelity is discovered by his wife. At the same time, their daughter is engaged to the wrong kind of man and their uncle is in a world of trouble.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Despite popular opinion, I actually donít like trashing a movie. I understand that someone put their heart and soul into the film and I really donít like to insult that personís work, especially when that someone is the great John Turturro. Unfortunately, I canít hold back when the film is as horrible as ROMANCE AND CIGARETTES.

First, itís important to mention that this is a musical set to somewhat familiar songs. The music isnít horrible, but it doesnít really fit into the context of the film. At times the musical numbers seem forced, almost as if the screenplay wasnít originally written as a musical. Not only that, but the stars donít really sing the songs, they actually just sing along with someone else. So every song sounds like someone singing along in the shower.

The dialogue is heavily laced with vulgarities that seem completely out of place for the time and situations the characters are in. The last thing I expected in the film (especially in the first 10 minutes) was for a daughter to lash out at her father in an oral-sex themed tirade. Those kind of things happened throughout the film and in each instance, it was distracting and unnecessary. I enjoy vulgar language as much as the next guy, but it has to be used in a manner that actually moves the story along, not just to shock the audience.

Finally, I think Turturro took his love of theatrics a bit too far. Half the movie was over the top and overly dramatic. There were fantasy/dream sequences that looked and felt like they didnít belong. Too many instances begged the question; what were they thinking? I did enjoy the great Christopher Walken, who played his character like he was trying to entertain a group of elementary students. Thatís a good thing because too many of the stars took themselves too seriously.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with John Turturro and Amedeo Turturro: Turturro is a great actor and seems like a cool guy. Iím not sure it was necessary to have Amedeo in the commentary, but it was nice for John to have someone to bounce off of. They stay very focused on the making of the film and itís really geared towards fans interested in making films.

Introduction with John Turturro (2:57): Iím a huge fan of Turturroís and I liked his involvement with the special features. This is just a quick introduction to the film about where he got some of the ideas and how the movie came to be.

Deleted Scenes (15:36): Turturro gives an introduction to the scenes and it would have been nice to be able to watch them without his intro. However, he gives some explanations as to why the scenes were cut. As far as the scenes go, I canít say I missed them in the movie, but then again, I wasnít a big fan of the film.

Making a Homemade Musical (12:07): This is just a simple behind the scenes featurette that doesnít really shed light on how the film was made, but gives you a taste into the process. I donít think we really needed the phone conversation with Susan Surandon, but I guess you have to take what you can get. For the most part, this was a chance for the stars to rave about how great John Turturro is.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Unless youíre a huge fan of one of the stars, I canít see a reason to watch this film. It missed on every level and ended up being a mess of a movie. Iíd leave this one alone.
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