A down-and-dirty musical set in the world of working-class New York, tells a story of a husband's journey into infidelity and redemption when he must choose between his seductive mistress and his beleaguered wife.
Nick and Kitty Murder are married middle-aged working class New Yorkers. Kitty catches Nick in an indiscretion when she finds a love poem, extolling the virtues of one specific body part, Nick wrote to his mistress, Tula. The poem is the last straw for Kitty regarding their marriage. Kitty has the support of their three grown daughters - biological or other - her cousin Bo, her pastor and others at the church. They help her with among other things finding and thus dealing with Tula, who she does not know, and looking back at if she made a mistake in choosing Nick over her first love. On the other side, Nick turns to his co-worker Angelo, and a local police officer/ex-military man for advice, which he also gets unsolicited from his tough talking mother. Nick still has Tula, a frank-talking Northern English sex shop clerk, who truly loves Nick's body parts as he loves hers. A little emotional distance may provide Nick and Kitty the best perspective of what their future holds.Written by
Turturro began writing an outline of this film while on the set of Barton Fink (1991). See more »
When Nick first comes into the house toward the beginning of the movie, his daughter's band is playing outside. When he shuts the front door, the music volume does not change. It should become more muffled with the door shut. See more »
We got the address. No last name. Find the love shack. You got a weapon?
[Kitty holds up a pen knife]
Maybe we should stop. Get somethin' bigger.
I don't need somethin' bigger.
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"Romance & Cigarettes" is a flawed but endearing film. Its stylised dialogue -- often stitched together from song lyrics, lines from films and, I think, even a snatch of Beckett's Endgame -- its characters bursting into lip-synched song and dance, its strange, disjointed scenes and its total lack of romance will doubtless annoy a lot of people hoping for something somewhat more straightforward and conventional. Personally, I was hoping for something that might address the issues of love, romance and relationships which the film, instead, prodded gently before dancing and singing around them. I would also have liked to have seen more of Mary Louise Parker, who I thought was cruelly underused. And...Eddie Izzard? And yet...and yet...I really liked this film. It had an inventiveness and a quirky charm, a surreal, loopy approach to narrative and dialogue, was beautifully filmed and -- within limitations of the form -- wonderfully acted. Particular kudos to Kate Winslet, unrecognizably and thoroughly dislikeable, who nonetheless "sings" one of the more heart-stopping numbers, Ute Lemper's version of Cave & Piseks "Little Water Song", while underwater. Meanwhile, adding to his gallery of whacked-out and weird characters, Christopher Walken delivers what must be one of his weirdest performances yet as the Elvis-idolising Cousin Bo. Like a lot of things in this film, you have to see it to believe it, and even then you won't be too sure.
I see cultdom beckoning for this little gem, late-night showings, repeated viewings, singalongs and favourite lines of dialogue bandied about like a secret currency. It's unlikely that it would have been made if it wasn't John Turturro writing and the Coens producing, but now it's out there, I recommend it be seen, if only for curiosity value. You either hate it or love it and -- for all its flaws -- I loved it.
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