Cigarette Girl

Cigarette Girl

*1/2

Reviewed by: James Benefield

In Cigarette Girl we're back in that peskiest of cinematic worlds: the not-too-distant future. It's pesky because it has the habit of covering up no end of laziness in underdeveloped sci-fi universes. Fortunately, in this instance there's no cover up. The film is genuinely awful anyway.

It's a shame, as the concept is interesting. Smoking has sunk even further down the slippery ladder of social acceptability. There's now a smoking section in every city in America. Patrolling one of them is Cigarette Girl (Cori Dials), who can afford to sell smokes cheaper than the shops. Although she has few overheads, she does have morals and knows where to draw the line. She doesn't sell to kids, for instance. And after her grandmother is taken into hospital with a smoking-related illness, she decides to quit both the habit and her job. Of course, neither are that simple.

Copy picture

One of the first things that is noticeable about the movie is its look. Director John Michael McCarthy has tried to give proceedings a comic book feel, and, to some extent, it works. He's got his framing and camera angles all present and correct. He's even got a sassy, sultry outfit for his lead actress. Incidentally, she is excellent. Although clearly a raw talent, Dials has an easy screen presence. She's comfortable with the camera and brings a freshness to the role that really enhances the character.

That's where the quality of the film stops, however. Some of the dialogue is truly appalling, as is the majority of the acting. The film loses direction very quickly, and after about 20 minutes, the characters and the situations grow quite wearisome. No direction is decided on, and few of the characters are well-rounded or believable. It's hard to say who is most offensive, but J Lazarus Hawk's cigarette-pusher Ace certainly needs a slap.

There's just about enough here to warrant a small cult status. But, ultimately, Cigarette Girl is all smoke and no fire.

Reviewed on: 21 Jun 2010
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Cigarette Girl packshot
Cigarette smuggler and dealer wants to quit.
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Festivals:

EIFF 2010

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