We gave it a D+
An attempt to milk Gen-X nostalgia is the badly misguided rationale behind 200 Cigarettes, a limp mix-and-match romantic roundelay set, for no apparent reason apart from the desire to include a lot of songs by the likes of Soft Cell and Bow Wow Wow, on New Year’s Eve, 1981.
First-time director Risa Bramon Garcia made her name in the casting biz, and she’s assembled a truly stunning group of actors: Christina Ricci, Janeane Garofalo, Courtney Love, Jay Mohr again, Martha Plimpton, Ben AND Casey Affleck, etc., all of whom flounder about like very hip goldfish in search of a pool of mineral water.
The peril of employing a multithread narrative is that some story lines may be more compelling than others, so that you find yourself impatient to get back to the one involving so-and-so; here, ALL of the threads are equally monotonous, so that instead you find yourself wincing roughly every four minutes.
The good news is that much of the witless dialogue is drowned out by the deluge of new-wave hits; the bad news, for the uncharacteristically clueless MTV suits who produced this anachronism, is that today’s teens were born too late to have heard ’em the first time around.