Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Just say “no” to 200 Cigarettes
Review by Sombrero Grande

Even though it’s been many years, I can’t seem to get the taste of 200 Cigarettes out of my mouth. Many bad films have come and gone in the meantime, but the stench of 200 Cigarettes still lingers as one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

It’s painfully obvious that most likely the only reason this movie was ever made was to put yet another ‘80s soundtrack on store shelves. Now, I like ‘80s music just as much as the next guy who grew up on Smurfs and Super Mario–-so understand I’m not knocking ‘80s music here--but the music is the only--and I can’t emphasize the word “only” enough--halfway decent thing in this movie. The writing is devoid of the slightest whiff of anything clever, let alone interesting. The directing is sub-par…almost failing-film-student bad, as a matter of fact. Despite a cast of numerous well-known and potentially quite enjoyable actors (Jay Mohr, Christina Ricci, Kate Hudson, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Affleck, Dave Chappelle, and many more) no one--NO ONE--manages to even pull off a performance that could hold my attention for their durations on screen. In fact, the only performance I can recall is Ricci’s and that’s only for the gawd-awful accent she inflicts upon the audience like Norman Bates’ knife into Marion Crane in Psycho.

The story, inexplicably set in the early eighties--inexplicable until you remember the aforementioned soundtrack--bounces around a bevy of characters all having some sort of relationship problem on New Year’s Eve. In the end, they all end up having sex with each other as if that’s the big end-all solution that makes a tacked-on “happy ending” possible. I hope they all got STDs.

It’s spiritless dreck like this that can give “indie” films a bad rep.


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