As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »
In a vignette called "Strange to meet you," Roberto sits at a small table in a coffee bar. Five cups of coffee and two ashtrays are in front of him; he drinks and smokes. Steven joins him. ... See full summary »
This shortcut repeats the structure of Coffee and Cigarettes. This time, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits meet in a bar. But, again, we don't know why they agreed to do that in the first place, ... See full summary »
Eleven separate vignettes are presented. In each, celebrities, playing semi-fictionalized versions of themselves (with the exception of the characters of various wait staff, and one actor playing a lookalike cousin of herself), meet in a food service establishment with coffee/tea and cigarettes involved. Beyond the topic of discussion that brought them together, they often talk directly about coffee and cigarettes, more often that coffee and cigarettes, and by association caffeine and nicotine, are not healthy, especially if they are the only things constituting lunch. Other recurring themes include the Lee family, cousinhood, celebrity worship, the connection between the medical and musical careers, and Nikola Tesla's belief that the Earth is a conductor of acoustic resonance. In all cases, the coming together for coffee/tea and smokes acts as a bridge to overcome disagreements, and/or makes uncomfortable situations less uncomfortable. Written by
There are numerous continuity errors in positions of items on the table throughout the movie. Coffee jugs disappear (Twins), cigarettes disappear from ashtrays (No Problem), cigarette packets move around (Somewhere in California). Cigarette lengths and coffee levels also vary. See more »
You really are a fuckin' moron, you know that? I'm gonna call up the big tobacco companies and thank them for burying you!
See more »
Short films with nonsense dialogue of shifting dignity. Lots of self irony or even self sarcasm. Tom Waits is mocking with Iggy Pop in a way that it's hard to believe they ever can talk to each other again. Bill Murray is pulling the leg of the hip hop movement and the movement finds that funny. Cate Blanchett is on a genial level playing the double part of the filmstar and her jealous cousin.
Jim Jarmusch can't be beaten. The dialogue seems to be mostly improvised, but the concept is not. Every short chapter here has a meaning and gives us something to think about. The films are in black and white, like coffee and cigarettes and that still is, and will always be, a way of pushing things harder. This is very much comedy and very much serious.
74 of 98 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?