200 Cigarettes

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200 Cigarettes
Two hundred cigarettes.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRisa Bramon Garcia
Produced byBetsy Beers
David Gale
Van Toffler
Written byShana Larsen
Music byBob Mothersbaugh
Mark Mothersbaugh
CinematographyFrank Prinzi
Edited byLisa Zeno Churgin
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • February 26, 1999 (1999-02-26) (United States)
  • May 13, 1999 (1999-05-13) (Australia)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6 million[1]
Box office$6.9 million[1]

200 Cigarettes is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Risa Bramon Garcia and written by Shana Larsen. The film follows multiple characters in New York City on New Year's Eve 1981. The film stars an ensemble cast consisting of Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Díaz, Angela Featherstone, Janeane Garofalo, Gaby Hoffmann, Kate Hudson, Courtney Love, Jay Mohr, Martha Plimpton, Christina Ricci and Paul Rudd. The film also features a cameo by Elvis Costello, as well as paintings by Sally Davies.


The film follows various plot arcs all occurring on New Year's Eve of 1981. Monica is throwing a big New Year's bash and is desperately afraid no one will attend. Early on the only person to have arrived is her friend Hillary. As she tries to convince Hillary to stay, we learn about various other groupings of individuals who are all on their way.

The film follows several characters as they spend New Year's Eve in New York City before eventually showing up at Monica's party. The party guests are: Val and Stephie, teens from Ronkonkoma who get lost in the seedy Alphabet City section of the borough and wander into a punk club where they meet Dave and Tom, who have a "package" they need to deliver; ditsy and awkward Cindy, who is on a dinner date with the paranoid Jack; Lucy and her best friend Kevin, who are struggling with the sexual tension between them; Kevin's feminist ex-girlfriend Ellie, who walks in on Kevin and Lucy making out in a restroom stall; a dim-witted and flirtatious bartender; competitive friends Bridget and Caitlyn who attempt to ditch Bridget's boyfriend Eric, (who is also Monica's ex-boyfriend); and the eccentric cab driver who takes them all around town throughout the evening in his disco-themed taxi.

Eventually, all the characters find their way to the party, although in the meantime Monica has passed out after drowning her sorrows in alcohol. She wakes up the next morning to find many unrecognizable people on her floor, including Stephie who tells her what a big hit her party was. Monica is thrilled (even though she missed it all), especially when she finds out that Elvis Costello showed up. The final montage shows Polaroids of the party, narrated by the disco cabbie, mostly featuring the unlikely romances from the party and the unconscious Monica being propped up by her party guests.



The film received generally negative reviews[2] and grossed $6.8 million[1] in the United States before video release.

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 28% based on 60 reviews.[3] On Metacritic the film has a score of 33% based on reviews from 26 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews",[2]

Todd McCarthy of Variety magazine called the film "dismally unfunny" and questions "if any director could have surmounted the script’s limitations" and of the acting performances he says "only Garofalo and Ben Affleck manage to project any wit that cracks through the prevailing humorlessness."[4]

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle gave it a positive review, saying "200 Cigarettes doesn't have a bad scene or a false note. The picture is a succession of pointed little moments, nicely written by Shana Larsen and acted with comic assurance and sensitivity."[5]


  1. ^ a b c "200 Cigarettes". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ a b "200 Cigarettes". Metacritic.
  3. ^ "200 Cigarettes". Rotten Tomatoes.
  4. ^ https://variety.com/1999/film/reviews/200-cigarettes-1200456542/
  5. ^ https://www.sfgate.com/movies/article/Cigarettes-a-Smoking-Tale-of-80s-Partyers-2944910.php

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