7.1/10
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167 user 158 critic

Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)

A series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common.

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2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joseph Rigano ...
Vinny Vella ...
Vinny (segment "Those Things'll Kill Ya")
Vinny Vella Jr. ...
Vinny Jr. (segment "Those Things'll Kill Ya")
Renee French ...
Renée (segment "Renée") (as Renée French)
E.J. Rodriguez ...
Waiter (segment "Renée")
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Alex (segment "No Problem")
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Isaach (segment "No Problem")
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Storyline

Eleven separate vignettes are presented. In each, celebrities, playing semi-fictionalized versions of themselves (with the exception of the characters of various wait staff, and one actor playing a lookalike cousin of herself), meet in a food service establishment with coffee/tea and cigarettes involved. Beyond the topic of discussion that brought them together, they often talk directly about coffee and cigarettes, more often that coffee and cigarettes, and by association caffeine and nicotine, are not healthy, especially if they are the only things constituting lunch. Other recurring themes include the Lee family, cousinhood, celebrity worship, the connection between the medical and musical careers, and Nikola Tesla's belief that the Earth is a conductor of acoustic resonance. In all cases, the coming together for coffee/tea and smokes acts as a bridge to overcome disagreements, and/or makes uncomfortable situations less uncomfortable. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

11 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Café e Cigarros  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€72,167 (Italy), 14 March 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$99,162, 16 May 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,971,135, 18 July 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack White and Meg White from the "Tesla" segment are The White Stripes band. See more »

Goofs

When toasting in the Champagne sequence, the cup of Taylor Mead changes hands. See more »

Quotes

Steve: I've not given my number out to many eminent people in the past. I've not given my number out to Sam Mendes, so you're in good company.
Alfred: Well, if it's good enough for Sam Mendes it's good enough for me.
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Crazy Credits

Tesla Coil Wrangler ... Peter Kunz See more »

Connections

References The Heckle and Jeckle Show (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Streets of Gold
Written by Coxsone Dodd
Performed by Roland Alphonso and the Soul Vendors
Jamrec Music/Happy Valley Music, Ltd. (BMI)
Courtesy of Jamaica Recording and Publishing Studio, Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Java & Smokes, Bizarre Little Jokes
5 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

Finally, a movie my sister can get behind! With a title like 'Coffee And Cigarettes', health nuts must be having a collective heart attack. And the title isn't ironic. Every single episode in this string-of-vignettes movie has enough java and smokes to murder a truck driver. Bizarro writer/director Jim Jarmusch shot the flick over many years, gathering a wildly disparate cast to co-star in his black and white art film. No scenes are connected (except by the ever-present cigs & a cup o' joe) and each quirky sequence functions as its own self-contained act.

Most of the character's names are just the actor's names, but that doesn't mean they're playing themselves. In reality, Bill Murray might moonlight as a waiter and hang out with the Wu-Tang Clan (who always refer to him as "billmurray", one word). Jack & Meg White from the White Stripes might have a remarkable interest in science. And Cate Blachett might have a resentful, rebellious cousin who looks exactly like her (because she's playing both of them). But I doubt it. Those are just a few of the oddball sketches in this movie. In fact, I mentioned those ones first because, of the scenes with the big-name celebrities, they're probably the weakest.

Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan work together in the longest sequence. Molina is courteous and affable, Coogan aloof and mildly interested in why Doc Ock has asked for this meeting. In a gem of warp-speed character development, Molina goes from shy to eager to crushed to bitter. Both men are excellent. Also, musicians Tom Waits and Iggy Pop have similar oil/water chemistry, which is what makes their culture-clash one-upsmanship memorable. Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright set the tone with their jittery, nonsensical opening scene. There's more, but I've forgotten the rest already.

So I didn't reveal much plot. What's there to tell, though? The terrific Molina/Coogan sequence could be lengthened into its own movie, but the rest of this picture wouldn't work if the short scenes played any longer. 'Coffee And Cigarettes' isn't really even about smoke rings or the caffeine rush. Jarmusch and the cast use those as props to create some zany bits with an "opposites attract...or not" motif. The flick is funny, a bit too long, and light years away from the mainstream. I enjoyed myself, found my interest bobbing & weaving, then left the theatre. That's okay. Even art films are allowed to be fast food.


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