Chinese Coffee (2000)

R  |   |  Drama  |  2 September 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,666 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 7 critic

Harry and Jake, two unsuccessful writers, spend a cathartic evening arguing about money, aesthetics, their friendship, and Harry's new manuscript.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Manheim
Ellen McElduff ...
Michel Moinot ...
Judette Jones ...
Supermarket cashier
Joel Eidelsberg ...
Harry's brother
Maria Gentile ...
Sarah / Bellydancer
Hamlet actor
Eteocles / Actor in play
Laura Esterman ...
Actor in play / Messenger
Cafe Dante waitress (as Hazel Goodman)
James Bulleit ...
Sgt. Boyle - Undercover cop #1
Mark Scarola ...
Undercover cop #2


When aging, unsuccessful Greenwich Village writer Harry Levine is fired from his job as restaurant doorman, he calls on friend and mentor Jake, ostensibly to collect a long-standing debt. Harry takes the opportunity to solicits his opinion on his latest manuscript, a work of semi-fiction based on their longtime friendship. Although he initially denies having read it, Jake later attacks it on aesthetic grounds, and deep-seated feelings of betrayal and jealousy surface, resulting in a traumatic confrontation. Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's a fine line between friendship and betrayal.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kínai kávé  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Al Pacino starred in the 1992 Broadway stage production of "Chinese Coffee". See more »


Near the end of the film Harry is poured a full glass of seltzer with a lime in it by Barney. Although he does not touch it, the glass is empty when he gets up to leave. See more »


Harry Levine: Don't fuck with my mind!
See more »


Referenced in Misfire: The Rise and Fall of the Shooting Gallery (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Star(no)buck (web)
18 August 2013 | by (PariS) – See all my reviews

For his 2nd movie, Al gives us an unusual movie, maybe imperfect but original and totally personal.

We are far away of a big production and big issues as the movie is a nightly discussion between two friends that have real troubles to live with their art.

Honestly, I see no difference between this fiction character and the real Al that was unveiled in his first movie: Al is a simple guy that loves NYC and his passion is more for stage than acting.

Nowadays when stars are obsessed with their look, Al just doesn't care, even if his bent attitude and ugly clothes, he may look as a tramp. It's funny to see that getting older, he has gone from godfather, mayor, the devil to lefty, Shylock and this penniless beret writer! In a funny way, he's like an old Serpico who hadn't leave his basement accommodation!

However, inside, he's still the same great guy: supportive, helpful but sometimes a bit grumpy and always ready to scream! But, what the heck, we are humans so imperfect and it's better to be straight and noisy than devious and smiling!

Thus, even if the stage is minimal and narrow, we have access to all those nuances from Al and his buddy is great to share the ball. There are even funny moments and a good reflexion about artists' condition.

In a way, Al didn't look for big effects but true, simple moments. It may be a waste but finally, it's like you can share a evening with him, talking about life and nothing, and thus it's infinitely valuable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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