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200 cigarettes

3 2 1 Happy New Year!!! - ★★★½

Why am I watching a film about new years a week before Halloween? I saw the atrocious trailer for what will no doubt be a terrible film called New Year’s Eve which would appear to have every actor going oh and Bon (only good song I ever did was Bad Medicine) Jovi but this reminded me that I saw a film about new years a while back with Elvis Costello in it playing himself. So I tracked down 200 Cigarettes the story of Monica’s (Martha Plimpton) 1981 New Year’s Eve party and the escapades of her friends as they try to get there.

For me the heart of the film is the friendship and musings of Paul Rudd and Courtney Love. If ever a bio pic of Tom Waits is made Paul Rudd must be cast. They are long time friends and it just so happens that it’s Rudd’s birthday on New Year’s Eve and for the past five years he’s been putting Courtney through hell with his misery and depression. Love gives a compelling and heartfelt portrayal of the diligent friend and it’s refreshing to see a role reversal of the typical guy girl friendship. There are also about four other stories running side by side and everyone must take a ride in Disco Cabbie’s (Dave Chapelle) taxi. We have both Affleck brothers, Ben as the dopey barmen and once again Casey shows he is by far the better actor as the punk with a heart of gold. Christina Ricci, Kate Hudson and Jay Mohr also turn in strong supporting roles. It must be said the film is worth watching for Ricci’s abysmal accent.

Now while I type this I realise the new, new year’s eve film doesn’t look that different from 200, it’s full of stars of the day, a famous musician and is all about relationships of one sort or another but with it there is no big pay off, no naff music that builds to a crescendo and a lot of originality.