200 Cigarettes (1999)

Movie


200 Cigarettes (1999)

New Year's Eve, 1981, the Lower East Side. Monica's having a party, but as late as 9, no one's there. She stews (and drinks). Folks are on their way, all looking for love, sex, or both. En route, paths cross, gambits misfire: a performance artist, her boyfriend until today and his long-time pal Lucy, two Long Island high-school girls, two punk rockers, a bartender, a Scottish painter who's lousy in bed, a pretty face named Jack who runs when women say they love him, his cute but clumsy date Cindy, two trendy vamps, a loquacious cabby, the man-crazed Hillary, and Elvis Costello. Nearly everybody smokes, and nearly everybody scores. And all get who and what they deserve.
USA
IMDb   6 /10
Metacritic   33 %
TheMovieDb    5.9 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   6.0 /10
Creators
Director Risa Bramon Garcia
Writer Shana Larsen
Information
Release Date1999-02-25
Runtime1h 41min
GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
Content RatingR (R)
AwardsAwards2 nominations
CompanyDogstar Films, Lakeshore Entertainment, MTV Films
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Bartenderas Bartender
Disco Cabbieas Disco Cabbie
Jennifer Albano
Jennifer Albano
Cherylas Cheryl
Cheryl's Friendas Cheryl's Friend
Morgan Brown
Morgan Brown
French Rockeras French Rocker
Cynical Bar Patronas Cynical Bar Patron
Elvis Costelloas Elvis Costello
Caitlynas Caitlyn
Tiki Sobbing Manas Tiki Sobbing Man
Stephieas Stephie
Cindyas Cindy
Tiki Bartenderas Tiki Bartender
Hillaryas Hillary
Restaurant Owneras Restaurant Owner

200 Cigarettes

200 Cigarettes is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Risa Bramon Garcia and written by Shana Larsen. The film follows multiple characters in New York City on New Year's Eve 1981. The film stars an ensemble cast consisting of Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Díaz, Angela Featherstone, Janeane Garofalo, Gaby Hoffmann, Kate Hudson, Courtney Love, Jay Mohr, Martha Plimpton, Christina Ricci and Paul Rudd. The film also features a cameo by Elvis Costello, as well as paintings by Sally Davies.


Plot

The film follows various plot arcs all occurring on New Year's Eve of 1981. Monica (Martha Plimpton) is throwing a big New Year's bash and is desperately afraid no one will attend. Early on the only person to have arrived is her friend Hillary (Catherine Kellner). As she tries to convince Hillary to stay, various other groupings of individuals are shown making their way to the celebration.

The film follows several characters as they spend New Year's Eve in New York City before eventually showing up at Monica's party. The party guests are: Monica's cousin Val (Christina Ricci) and her friend Stephie (Gaby Hoffmann), teens from Ronkonkoma who get lost in the seedy Alphabet City section of the borough and wander into a punk club where they meet Dave (Guillermo Díaz) and Tom (Casey Affleck), who have a "package" they need to deliver; ditsy and awkward Cindy (Kate Hudson), who is on a dinner date with the paranoid Jack (Jay Mohr); Lucy (Courtney Love) and her best friend Kevin (Paul Rudd), who are struggling with the sexual tension between them; Kevin's feminist ex-girlfriend Ellie (Janeane Garofalo), who walks in on Kevin and Lucy making out in a restroom stall; a dim-witted and flirtatious bartender (Ben Affleck); competitive friends Bridget (Nicole Ari Parker) and Caitlyn (Angela Featherstone) who attempt to ditch Bridget's boyfriend Eric (Brian McCardie), (who is also Monica's ex-boyfriend); and the eccentric cab driver (Dave Chappelle) who takes them all around town throughout the evening in his disco-themed taxi.

Eventually, all the characters find their way to the party, although in the meantime Monica has passed out after drowning her sorrows in alcohol. She wakes up the next morning to find many unrecognizable people on her floor, including Stephie who tells her what a big hit her party was. Monica is thrilled, even though she missed it all, especially when she finds out that Elvis Costello showed up. The final montage shows Polaroids of the party, narrated by the disco cabbie, mostly featuring the unlikely romances from the party and the unconscious Monica being propped up by her party guests.


Cast

  • Ben Affleck as Bartender
  • Casey Affleck as Tom
  • Caleb Carr as Cynical Bar Patron
  • Dave Chappelle as Disco Cabbie
  • Elvis Costello as Himself
  • Guillermo Díaz as Dave
  • Angela Featherstone as Caitlyn
  • Janeane Garofalo as Ellie
  • Gaby Hoffmann as Stephie
  • Kate Hudson as Cindy
  • Catherine Kellner as Hillary
  • Courtney Love as Lucy
  • Brian McCardie as Eric
  • Jay Mohr as Jack
  • Nicole Ari Parker as Bridget
  • Martha Plimpton as Monica
  • Christina Ricci as Val
  • Paul Rudd as Kevin

Release

The film received generally negative reviews and grossed $6.8 million in the United States before video release.

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 30% based on 63 reviews. On Metacritic the film has a score of 33% based on reviews from 26 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews",

Todd McCarthy of Variety magazine called the film "dismally unfunny" and questions "if any director could have surmounted the script’s limitations" and of the acting performances he says "only Garofalo and Ben Affleck manage to project any wit that cracks through the prevailing humorlessness."

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle gave it a positive review, saying "200 Cigarettes doesn't have a bad scene or a false note. The picture is a succession of pointed little moments, nicely written by Shana Larsen and acted with comic assurance and sensitivity."