Thank You For Smoking

A Film Review By Jeff Fro

Starring: Aaron Eckharts, Robert Duvall, Rob Lowe
Directed By: Jason Riteman
Rated: R For Language and Sexual Content

Final Grade:

Overview – A satirical look at the lobbiest for the tobacco industry. Or it could have been titled “Using Debate Skills for the Forces of Evil”.

How to defend the undefendable? Once the “Truth.org” came out about smoking and we all found out it was as bad for your health as we all believed it to be all along, how can you defend it anymore? How can someone personally defend smoking? It seems clear that most can not defend it since smokers are quickly being legislated from the public sector. There are even places in California where it is illegal to smoke outdoors. OUTDOORS!

In this film we follow Nick Naylor as portrayed by Aaron Eckhard. He is the main lobbiest for Big Tobacco. It is his job to go on talk shows and defend the undefendable. How does he do it? By changing the subject. Wrapped in the constitution and using as many loaded words and images as possible, he basically avoids the big issues completely and gets everyone so distracted they lose focus. Sounds easy enough, right? Almost too easy. But in the film it is done very well and you could almost believe that Nick could sell snow to Eskimos with very little effort.

With someone so shrewd as the lead character, it is harder to believe that he could be so easily fooled by a cub reporter for a Washington DC paper out for a scoop. Sure that reporter is played by Katie Holmes, and maybe Nick fell under the same hypnotic spell that Tom Cruise is under. But I kind of doubt it. So, as you could predict the reporter blows the cover on Big Tobacco. Who knew they would twist the truth to achieve their dastardly goal of selling more cigarettes? Who knew?!!!

The film is a fun ride and the characters we meet along the way are hilarious. Especially Adam Brody as a personal assistance to a Hollywood Agent played by Rob Lowe. See, they want to pay Hollywood to get sexy actors to smoke more in films! How could they?!!!

(Guess they missed the opportunity with Good Night and Good Luck.)

The Verdict:
I liked the film and it is worth the price of admission, even if you can’t smoke in the theater

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