7.1/10
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169 user 158 critic

Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)

A series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common.

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2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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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 »

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Roberto (segment "Strange to Meet You")
... Steven (segment "Strange to Meet You")
... Good Twin (segment "Twins")
... Evil Twin / Kitchen Guy (segment "Twins / Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil")
... Danny (segment "Twins")
... Iggy (segment "Somewhere in California")
... Tom (segment "Somewhere in California")
Joseph Rigano ... Joe (segment "Those Things'll Kill Ya") (as Joe Rigano)
Vinny Vella ... Vinny (segment "Those Things'll Kill Ya")
Vinny Vella Jr. ... Vinny Jr. (segment "Those Things'll Kill Ya")
Renee French ... Renée (segment "Renée") (as Renée French)
E.J. Rodriguez ... Waiter (segment "Renée")
... Alex (segment "No Problem")
... Isaach (segment "No Problem")
... Cate / Shelly (segment "Cousins")
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

11 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Café e Cigarros  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€72,167 (Italy), 14 March 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$99,162, 16 May 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,971,135, 18 July 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Jim Jarmusch, together with Tom Waits and John Lurie, is a member of the Lee Marvin look-alike club "Sons of Lee Marvin", a portrait is hanging over The White Stripes during the "Tesla" section. See more »

Goofs

When Cathy is giving the paper bag to Shelby, the bag is tied at the top, but when Shelby is taking it, it is wide open. See more »

Quotes

Shelly: It's just... funny, don't yah think, that when you can't afford something, it's like *really expensive* but then when you can afford it, it's like, free? It's kinda backwards, don't yah think?
Cate: Yeah, well... the world is a bit like that, I guess, in a lot of ways.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tesla Coil Wrangler ... Peter Kunz See more »

Connections

References Ladies Man (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Crimson and Clover
Written by Tommy James and Peter P. Lucia Jr. (as Peter Lucia)
Performed by Tommy James and Tommy James & The Shondells
(c) 1968 Renewed EMI Longitude Music Co.
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
Licensed courtesy of EMI Recorded Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A blast (***1/2)
4 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

Talk about an appropriate title.

This is a collection of 11 short stories directed by indie stalwart Jim Jarmusch ("Strangers in Paradise", "Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai") that have been filmed over the last 18 years, all of which involve two or more characters simply sitting at a table, conversing over...yep, coffee and cigarettes.

In the hands of a lesser director that might be extremely boring, but Jarmusch is a master of subtle understatement and great deadpan humor. This may be one of the funniest movies you've ever seen in which no one cracks a smile.

Almost all the actors play themselves, which adds a meta-theatrical, slightly surreal touch to it all.

Among my favorite stories are one in which an overly eager Alfred Molina has a surprise in store for coolly arrogant fellow actor Steve Coogan and a great one in which Cate Blanchett plays both herself and her jealous cousin Shelby. Then there's the one where Tom Waits and Iggy Pop meet in a dive bar to discuss things and have a smoke (to celebrate quitting smoking), Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes experimenting with a Tesla coil, and in the funniest casting, RZA and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan sharing some downtime with, of all people, Bill Murray. I also like the one with Spike Lee's twin siblings, Joie and Cinque, dealing with an invasive waiter (a hilarious Steve Buscemi). Almost all the stories are excellent, but there are three that are very forgettable and pretty unnecessary, and they're all in a row, which disrupts the flow of the film. If those three had been taken out, "Coffee and Cigarettes" would be just about perfect, but it's still really good. And those three are out of the way in the first half, anyway.

For the first hour the movie feels mainly just like fun. Straight-faced, deadpan, B&W comedy just like "Strangers In Paradise". But as it goes on, and strange connections are made between the stories, it seems to have a sudden dreamlike depth to it.

The final story in particular, in which two old men in a dark room (Bill Rice and Taylor Mead) discuss life while on a coffee break that feels like it'll last forever, has a distinct "Waiting For Godot" feel and ends the movie on a perfect note of haunting, existential sadness.

It was at that point that I realized I hadn't just watched a string of jokey short stories, but a string of jokey short stories that say a lot about human nature and life in general.

And if that's not enough to interest you, how often do you get to see Tom Waits and Iggy Pop have a conversation? Or RZA, GZA, and Bill Murray?


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