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Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

THANK YOU FOR SMOKING…is a breath of fresh air

I’ve long bemoaned the lack of sophistication and wit in modern day movies.  They just seem so dumbed down and targeted to the lowest common denominator.  Seeing THANK YOU FOR SMOKING felt like a huge breath of fresh air….so to speak.  Based on the Christopher Buckley novel of the same, the film is adapted and directed by Jason Reitman (son of director Ivan Reitman.) 

The film follows the exploits of Nick Naylor (played by Aaron Eckhart) who works as a lobbyist for the Tobacco industry.  He is a slick smooth operator who can talk better than anyone in the room.  He lunches daily with his only friends Polly Bailey (Maria Bello), an alcohol lobbyist, and Bobby Jay Bliss (David Koechner), a gun lobbyist.  They refer to themselves as the M.O.D. Squad (“Merchants of Death”.)  As part of his mission to display cigarettes in a positive light, Nick Naylor flies to Los Angeles on business, taking his young son with him.  While in town, he meets with a CAA-esque Hollywood agent (Rob Lowe) to discuss how they can work together to make cigarettes sexy and cool in an upcoming sci-fi film.  He also stops at the home of cowboy Lorne Lutch (Sam Elliott), the “Tumbleweed Man” (read: Marlboro Man), who was a long running symbol of tobacco before his battle with lung cancer turned him against it.  Nick Naylor comes to his house to offer him hush money to silence him from speaking out about the evils of cigarettes.

Meanwhile, back in Washington Nick must battle his rival Sen. Ortolan Finistirre (William H. Macy).  Things get even more complex with Nick is seduced by ruthless journalist Heather Holloway (Katie Holmes) who writes a scathing expose about him in the press.  All the while, Nick’s young son is studying his every move and is clearly set to follow in his footsteps.

What anchors this film and makes it work so well is Aaron Eckhart’s performance.  He has been great in other films such as Erin Brockovich and In The Company of Men, but this is the first role he’s had that really utilizes him to his full potential.  Nick Naylor is sleazy, ruthless, slick and shallow….but you can’t help but like him.  You secretly want him to win.  He is fast, funny and perfect in the role.  The supporting actors are also excellent. 

The dialogue is smart and well paced.  Good satire is a difficult thing to tackle and Reitman has done a fantastic job.  I look forward to his future work and hope that he continues to make films that are on this same level of quality.  Finally….WIT and INTELLIGENCE has returned to movie screens.  It’s about time.

Written by Karie (site owner) on 03/28 at 01:28 PM

1 Comments:

  1. My thoughts .Obviously as her first time going to her. So be getnle, even if your not getting enough pleasure, remember not either!.I reckon to make it special you could put some nice music on, candles and a meal before hand?.Good luck [...]

    Posted by Viktor  on  07/23  at  07:29 AM

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