Coffee and Cigarettes

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1/2

Content: -2 1/2

Shot entirely in black and white, this film is like a combination of Saturday Night Live and The Twilight Zone. It features 11 unrelated sketches, each beginning with a person seated at a table and each involving coffee, cigarettes and an intimate conversation between two people. The characters continually talk about the evils of smoking but then keep right at it. The subjects of conversation are random, flowing from cousins to waiting to traveling to life struggles. Enlivening some of the interactions are the appearances of recognizable celebrities, most playing themselves: Roberto Benigni, Steve Buscemi, Steve Coogan, Bill Murray, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Cate Blanchett, Steven Wright, Alfred Molina and Cinque Lee. The human condition of wanting to relate to another person plays out in nearly every conversation.

The average movie goer will find this unconventional film boring and its lack of action unsatisfying, but it does have its positive side. Since there is no action, Coffee and Cigarettes contains no violence or sex. Most of the characters, or speakers, have redeeming desires, but few enjoy the company of the person sitting across the table from them. Selfishness presents itself in nearly every dialog. One character will have an exciting situation to communicate, but the listener loses interest once he or she discovers that it offers no personal benefits. Of the 11 sketches, it is primarily one that makes the film objectionable, containing 90% of the offensive language, which is substantial with more than 40 f-words and 20 occurrences of profanity. But, as a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough, so this one conversation ruins the movie.

Preview Reviewer: Blaine Butcher
United Artists

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times mild (hell 4, damn 2); moderate (bastard 3); strong (ass 2)

Obscene Language: Many (55+) times moderate (piss 1, crap 1); strong (f-word 45+, s-word 8)

Profanity: Many (20) times moderate (MG 2, G 3); strong (GD 2, J 4, C 2, JC 7)

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Many times mild (cigarettes are smoked in every scene, men talk about using marijuana)

Other: One characters selfishness costs him a business opportunity, coffee and cigarettes are continually used while people talk about their respective dangers, father gives his son affection)

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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