A "Playing by Heart" for the Pierced
200 Cigarettes
Review by Ross Anthony

"Hey man, no smoking in my taxi," the disco cabby (Dave Chappelle) scorns as he lights up one of his own. "You just told me there's no smoking!" the passenger protests. Cabby, "I ain't smoking what you're smoking."

Despite these quotes and the scores of butts, "200 Cigarettes" isn't about smoking. It's a relationship flick showcasing the interactions of 10 or so young techno-freaky people on New Years Eve 1981. Although I was young in 1981 ... I didn't smoke, I wasn't into techno and my hair wasn't a primary color. For these reasons I struggled to find someone in this film with whom to relate. As the sometimes twisted, but nonetheless intriguing, relationship stories developed, I was admittedly lured into the picture ... until finally the interactions transcended the stereotypes.

There's the desperado (Paul Rudd) whose doomed love affairs keep him from launching a romance with loose galpal Lucy (Courtney Love). There's the Romeo (Jay Mohr) who is burdened by nameless flocks of women falling in love with him at the snap of a finger. Accident prone Cindy (Kate Hudson -- is simply stellar!) fumbles through most of the picture with dog poopie on her back. Eric (Brian McKardie) is adorable, but sorely lacking in the manly duty arena. And still a host of others populate the script including Ben Afflect as the studly bartender and his brother (Casey Afflect, an excellent "real person" actor) as your average leather-clad, mascara-wearing street punk.

This odd mix of romantic web-winding culminates at a New Year's Eve party that is cleverly left to your imagination ... which may well be the norm for those of you who drink heavily on such occasions.

Starring Paul Rudd, Courtney Love, Kate Hudson, Ben Afflect, etc.
Directed by Risa Bramon Garcia
Produced by Betsy Beers, David Gale Van Toffler at Paramount Pictures, Lakeshore Ent., with MTV and Dogstar.


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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:22:23 PDT