Movie of the Day – 200 Cigarettes
December 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Well, I would have posted about Ghostbusters II and how it is the best New Year’s Eve movie out there, but I already did that post a little too early, but I have found a suitable replacement for the time being. A vastly underrated comedy that was remade in 2011 under the moniker New Year’s Eve. Yes, I am under the assumption, without ever having seen the newest Garry Marshall abortion (you used to be cool man) that they lifted the entire setting and plot beats from 200 Cigarettes and replaced all the actors from that movie with people that I want to punch in the face for being utterly vapid and formulaic. Fuck You! Anyways, I assume the next Garry Marshall movie will be about Arbor Day and be done with his “make every major holiday into a movie and fill it with people in small, shallow vignettes”.
Alright so lets get to what makes this a great New Year’s Eve movie.
On New Year’s Eve, no one wants to be alone. On this night in 1981, several different groups of young desperate people begin a journey from around New York City to a big party hosted by Monica (Martha Plimpton) and new friend Hillary (Catherine Kellner). As the hours pass and no one shows, Monica begins to unravel. She must bribe Hilary to stay with the promise of a clear shot at Monica’s old boyfriend, Eric (Brian McCardie). Eric, at that moment is drinking in a nightclub with his new girlfriend, Bridget (Nicole Parker) and her friend Caitlyn (Angela Featherstone). When Bridget learns the host of the party is Eric’s ex-girlfriend, she moves in on the bartender (Ben Affleck). Another group consists of two teenagers from Long Island, Monica’s cousin Val (Christina Ricci) and Stephie (Gaby Hoffmann). The two get lost on the way when they run into a pair of punk rockers, Tom (Casey Affleck) and Dave (Guillermo Diaz). In a nearby diner, Lucy (Courtney Love) commiserates with her best friend Kevin (Paul Rudd) who has just been dumped by performance artist Ellie (Janeane Garofalo) so she could move in with her therapist. As they bar hop it slowly dawns upon the two that they could be more than friends. Elsewhere, new acquaintances Jack (Jay Mohr) and Cindy (Kate Hudson) are celebrating more than the new year. Cindy lost her virginity to Jack the night before, though is afraid Jack is with her out of sense of obligation. Now if only everyone can get to the party by midnight. Linking the different stories is the disco cabbie (Dave Chappelle) in whose cab the party never stops. ~ Ron Wells, Rovi
What works for this movie is that the film is filled with solid comedians and dramatic actors. Sure it is kind of a mishmash of actors, but each have there own little story that fleshes out in their own little way. All the stories are linked together by cab rides but none really cross over fully to another story. It’s capturing the different aspects of the night life and Eve that can become chaotic as everyone has something unique happen to them. It’s feels natural when watching the problems that the characters face, hell you might even see them hit a little too close to home. Everything in the film feels and sound natural and you actually enjoy watching the characters in their own little world on a momentous occasion such as New Year’s Eve. I am going to harp on the 2011 film New Year’s Eve and say it looks like those actors just showed up for an easy paycheck, where as the actors in 200 Cigarettes got a paycheck and enjoyed what they were doing.
I don’t want to drone on and on about this movie since it was panned upon it’s release, but the concept and comedy in the film is better than some existing comedies. I guess the general story line doesn’t have a lot of coherent cohesiveness, but then again a film like this shouldn’t need it. There isn’t anything that connects the characters to one another, it’s just watching an extended sketch comedy show that happens to center around different things going on in New York on New Year’s Eve.
I want all my readers to be safe this evening and have a Happy New Year.