Romance & Cigarettes - John Turturro (2005)




Actor John Turturro, of Italian origin and a fan of opera, he made this film in 2005 (produced by Ruby Cohen of the Cohen brothers) an interesting attempt to update the genre, in which the characters seem to use the songs to express feelings for which the words alone are not sufficient. The songs are taken from life and from our time, for this aspect the movie is closer to the experiment of Alain Resnais, 1986, the charming Melň, and also to the classic movie Les parapluies di Cherbourg by Jacques Demy.


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The story starts from one of the most typical situations of melodrama, but also in the cinema: the love triangle and betrayal; the difference is that the protagonist are an American blue collar, his housewife, of course both Italian American, and the other she is a clerk, but in a porn-shop. Moreover, the daughters of the couple have put together a punk-rock band like the Sletaer-Kinney, the boyfriend of the favorite daughter is an aspiring revival, between Travolta and Elvis, his cousin is an original character who lives in the memory of the faithless wife, and so on. The film proceeds with a intriguing realization, with the support of a first-rate cast out with an excellent Susan Sarandon, with situations that alternate between the comic and the thoughtful and dazzling musical numbers organized as a "scene" or maybe as video clips, including the and compelling interpretation of Delilah and of Pieces Of My Heart in the church.

Susan Sarandon Kate Winslet

Very pronounced and almost caricature the interpretation of Kate Winslet, very overweight, difficult to assess, and large space to the Italian-American actor James Gandolfini (from the famous U.S. TV series The Sopranos) definitely in party (the" physique du rol" is unquestionable) that has the opportunity to express all the colors of melodrama, from farce to tragedy. The rising young star Mandy Moore has a role a little bit one-dimensional, a daughter who has few other distinguishing features in addition to being actually a daughter.

A really interesting film (but not recommended for smokers) often surprising, a little bit uneven, full of surprises for spectators that are also ready to new discoveries, and above all that are music lovers.

A rich casting for the first film of John Turturro.




James Gandolfini

Nick Murder

He, the Italian-American carpenter Nick

Susan Sarandon

Kitty Kane Murder

She, housewife and mother

Kate Winslet


The other one, clerk in a successful porn-shop

Steve Buscemi


Friend of Nick

Mandy Moore

Baby Murder

The beloved daughetr. Bass player in the punk rock band

Mary-Louise Parker

Constance Murder

The other daughter, the rocker, first guitar

Aida Turturro

Rosebud "Rara" Murder

The third daughter, the flat one. She's the drummer

Bobby Cannavale


Baby's boyfriend

Amy Sedaris


A friend of the daughters

Christopher Walken


Kitty's cousin

Eddie Izzard

Gene Vincent

Organ player in the church

Barbara Sukowa


Rainer Werner Fassbinder' actress as a friend of Kitty

Elaine Stritch

Nick's mother


P.J. Brown

Police officer


A soundtrack in which the songs are chosen mostly because they are consistent with the particular moment of the movie or the character who sings them; as Delilah used as a comment for the betrayal of teh wife of Bo, or Red Headed Woman by Bruce Springsteen dedicated to Tula. Specific of the film they are a romantic Italian song by Anna Identici (Quando m'innamoro performed both in Italian and in English) and the apotheosis during the soul classic Piece Of My Heart.




Kate Winslet - Tula as "El quarto de Tula"


Sarandon and Cristopher Walken mentioning The parapluies de Cherbourg

Kate Winslet singing underwater

Nick and Tula

The meeting between Kitty and Tula


Kitty - Susan Sarandon

The goodbye between Nick and Tula










A Man without Love

Engelbert Humperdinck

Barry Mason (as John Barry Mason), Daniele Pace, Mario Panzeri & Roberto Livraghi

Decca Music Group Limited


Answer Me, My Love

Gene Ammons

Fred Rauch, Carl Sigman and Gerhard Winkler

Prestige Records/Fantasy, Inc.


Samson & Delilah Theme


Victor Young

Paramount Pictures Corporation


El cuarto de Tula

Buena Vista Social Club

Sergio Gonzales Siaba

Nonesuch Records/World Circuit

A piece taken from teh famous album Buena Vista Social Club and the succesfull eponymous film by Wim Wenders.

Piece of My Heart

Dusty Springfield

Bert Berns and Jerry Ragovoy

Mercury Records Limited

The soul classic song was firstly a success by the british soul singer Dusty Spriengfield. Even most famous after the passional interpretations by Janis Joplin in the late sixties. Often cited as "Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart".

Piece of My Heart

Janis Joplin

Bert Berns and Jerry Ragovoy

Columbia Records


Piece of My Heart

Erma Franklin

Bert Bern and Jerry Ragovoy

Epic Records

The first interpretation (1967, top-10 U.S.) of the famous song was, however, by Erma Franklin, sister of the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, also a good singer, though less well known. And this is, if we are not mistaken, the version sung (in playback) by Susan Sarandon in the climax scene of the film.


Elvis Presley

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

BMG Strategic Marketing Group


Hot Pants

Bobby Cannavale (James Brown)

James Brown and Fred Wesley


A success of the 1971 by James Brown commenting the worldwide success of the "hot pants", the very brief skin-tight shorts to be worn with the tights even at office, which supplanted the miniskirts in the first seventies.

Prisoner of Love

Cindy Lauper

Russ Columbo, Clarence Gaskill and Leo Robin

GaRelila, Inc.

An explicit citation of the classic musical Les parapluies di Cherbourg.


Tom Jones

Les Reed and Barry Mason

Chrysalis Copyrights Limited

During the ballet commenting the betrayal of the wife of Bo, the cousin of kitty.

I Want Candy

Mandy Moore, Aida Turturro and Mary-Louise Parker

Bert Berns, Robert Feldman, Gerald Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer


The punk band of the three daughters perform a song of Bow Wow Wow, a british group of the 80s.

Scapricciatiello (Do You Love Me Like You Kiss Me)

Connie Francis

Vento, Albano, Manning, Hoffman.

Universal Records

During the meeting in hotel between Nick and Tula. An almost Italian song.

Red Headed Woman

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

Columbia Records

For the red heade Kate Winslet - Tula.

Little Water Song

Ute Lemper

Nick Cave and Bruno Pisek

Decca Music Group Limited


It's a Man's Man's Man's World

James Brown

James Brown and Betty Newsome

Universal Records

A new consciousness for Nick, he's discovering the importance of the family.

It Must Be Him

Vikki Carr

Maurice Vidalin, Gilbert Bécaud and Mack David

EMI Records


The Girl That I Marry

James Gandolfini and Susan Sarandon

Irving Berlin



Quando m'innamoro

Anna Identici

Daniele Pace, Mario Panzeri and Roberto Livraghi

 BMG Italy


Ten Commandments of Love

Harvey & The Moonglows

Marshall Paul

 MCA Records


I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now

Ray Charles (Aida Turturro)

Music Joseph E. Howard and Harold Orlob / William M. Hough (as Will M. Hough) and Frank R. Adams



Banks of the Ohio

David Patrick Kelly and Katherine Borowitz




When the Saviour Reached Down for Me

The R&C Choir

Traditional / Arrangement by Paul Chihara




© Alberto Truffi 2007-2011 / Music-Graffiti