When pretty much every distributor on Earth passes on a blue-collar-adultery musical written and directed by John Turturro and starring James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken and Mary-Louise Parker, it's a sure sign that it's either a brilliant, misunderstood piece of genius, or that it sucks. Sadly, much as it pains me to write this, the answer is the latter.
There are some great scenes here and there in Romance & Cigarettes as Kitty (Sarandon) confronts her construction-worker husband Nick (Gandolfini) about his affair with dirty-talking Irish redhead Tula (Winslet), but much of the dialog feels forced, the story as a whole feels disjointed and, worst of all, the musical numbers feel lazy. Sure, it's nice to see folks like this belting out songs, but most of them seem disconnected from the story—they're more like set pieces than something that furthers the plot, thin though it is. In the end, there's plenty of smoke in Romance & Cigarettes, but very little fire.Write to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.