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Romance & Cigarettes

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:42 am
by Universal Polymath
A review from Amazon:
Some musicals target families, others set their sights on more mature audiences (think Chicago). To judge by appearances, John Turturro's suburban operetta has little in common with Rob Marshall's urban razzle-dazzler, except it also aims for the melodrama-meets-film noir set--and features as much graphic language as Goodfellas. James Gandolfini sets the scene as Queens ironworker Nick Murder (Steve Buscemi plays his best pal). Nick's marriage to Kitty has hit the skids. His relationships with his daughters are just as fraught. Then again, all women, including fiery mistress Tula, befuddle the lug.

As in the works of Dennis Potter, characters express themselves through song--in this case, a combination of singing and lip-synching. And when they burst into a tune, everyone joins in, from sanitation workers to welders. The material ranges from crooner standards ("A Man without Love") to rock classics ("Piece of My Heart"). Like Potter's The Singing Detective, fantasy also commingles with reality (Kitty envisions her first love returning from the dead). Turturro's third directorial effort arrives as a labor of love--a difficult labor. When studio restructuring caused delays, he assumed distribution duties himself. Just as passion is rarely tidy, his Coen Brothers-produced movie can be messy--the tender moments play better than the boisterous ones--but the director's passion for his material shines through. It can also be very funny, especially when Cousin Bo (Christopher Walken) shakes a leg to Tom Jones's "Delilah."

Has anyone seen it? A quick trip over to "Rotten Tomatoes" reveals that this wasn't so popular among critics, but I think it sounds pretty interesting (if only for Gandolfini and Buscemi teaming up in a "musical")...

Re: Romance & Cigarettes

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:22 am
by FlyOnMelfisWall
Never saw it. I think I intended to at one time, but I can't get into the whole musical thing, especially on film. My ability to suspend disbelief doesn't extend quite that far.:icon_biggrin: