200 Cigarettes (1999)

January 2, 2017


  • Title: 200 Cigarettes
  • Rated: R for strong language and sexual content.
  • Year: 1999
  • Starring: Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Diaz, Angela Featherstone, Janeane Garofalo, Gaby Hoffmann, Kate Hudson, Courtney Love, Jay Mohr, Martha Plimpton, Christina Ricci, and Paul Rudd.
  • Studio/Production: Paramount, MTV, Lakeshore.
  • Synopsis: A collection of twentysomethings try to cope with relationships, loneliness, desire and their individual neuroses. (source)
  • Ratings: 5.9/10 (IMDb)

I fell in love with this movie when Comedy Central played it ad nauseam one New Year’s Eve. And every year since then, I depended on the channel to catch a showing. That is before I decided to buy myself a copy. Like A Christmas Story marathon, I await all year to pop this movie into my player and watch the shit out of it. (No, I don’t marathon the film, though I have watched it twice today.)

200 Cigarettes has everything you’d expected from a holiday romantic comedy. The pent up feelings between two friends, falling in love with the wrong guy, finding love between strangers, an ensemble cast of famous faces, and the unexpected advice guru. Yet it plays in away that avoids becoming such trite, which was the problem for films like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.

Released in 1999, an age before the term millennial was on the tips of tongues everywhere, the film transcends the test of time. Every character would fit in today’s cinematic storytelling world with a few tweaks to the costume design (the movie does take place in the early 80s). While the problems faced in the film are less than important (the old question of who are you kissing at midnight?), but aren’t all mild problems elaborated during our teens and 20s? But it reminds me to relax. Even when things seem dire, seem overbearing, and the neurosis of being alone sinks in—relax and learn to have a good time. And sometimes you need a yearly reminder of that lesson.

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