Thank You For Smoking

Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco’s chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

Writer: Jason Reitman, Christopher Buckley
Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright and Maria Bello
Runtime: 92 Minutes
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn with Butter

Thank you for Smoking; A one sided propaganda “Michael Moorish” type of documentary aimed towards Americas youth to get them to start smoking at a young age! How despicable….

Just Kidding.

That is actually what I thought when I first heard its movie title during its buzzing release back in 2006.  I thought that it was going to promote smoking.  It does nothing of the sort.  It isn’t even really a movie about smoking.  In fact, there is not a lit cigarette seen in the entire movie.  This movie is satire at its best and it works on every level.

The story is about Cigarette Spokesman Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) who is a lobbyist that does his best, which is very good, to spin the public opinion about smoking.  He is divorced and has a young son named Joey (Cameron Bright).  He frequently meets with the M.O.D. Squad which consists of lobbyists from Alcohol (Maria Bello) and Firearms (David Koechner).  They meet and drink and boast about how many people they second handedly kill each year.

The movie’s storyline consists of multiple parts.  A Vermont Senator named Ortolan Finistirre who is a huge anti smoking advocate and becomes Naylor’s main opponent, a young reporter (Katie Holms) who is doing a story on Naylor and sleeping with him about as soon as we meet her, the bonding and teaching that Naylor has with his son, but most importantly it follows around Naylor, who is without a doubt the center subject, and watches him battle and succeed in what he does best; convincing people.  He convinces people to smoke for a living, yes, but it is fun to watch as he charmingly wins every conversation, argument, and TV talk show that he is a part of.

Writing about this movie a few years after its release the way that I am, I am fortunate enough to know what director Jason Reitman has made of himself as major director.  “Thank You for Smoking” is his first major motion picture and after watching I’m sure everyone expected more to come from the young director.  We all had to wait a little while until he came out with 2007’s award winner “Juno” and then a couple more years until 2009’s Oscar Nominated “Up in the Air” I am also very much looking forward to his upcoming movie, teaming back up with Diablo Cody from Juno, on Minneapolis Taped “Young Adult” starring Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson.

Thank you for smoking is a great watch, its satire is perfect and will have you laughing out loud.  Eckhart’s performance is spot on, not being cocky or arrogant with his approach but goes about his business very matter of factly.  Even though he is faced with constant adversity; he knows he is going to find a way to spin it, and to be great – just like the movie.

Large Popcorn with Butter.

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  1. on 10/26/2012 at 4:53 pm