Thank You for Smoking Reviews
It comments on doing your job well at almost any cost, the politics of issues and taking sides well, and the darling core of all media - perspective, aka spin.
I was completely apprehensive about watching it since I know several ppl who have fought incredible battles to quit smoking, and others who have fought and lost the battle, remaining addicted.
Despite this perspective, I enjoyed the aspect of spin played out intelligently and with a devilish, fervent relish.
It totally works here bc it's not even about smoking - it's about the lies we tell ourselves in order to do the things we do, but would rationally not do in other contexts.
Brilliantly handled here.
A movie that makes you think.
Enjoy the internal checking this may cause you, as it did for me.
And probly stop smoking too..
4 smoke rings out of 5
Nick Naylor is man who has a very peculiar and controversial job: A Tobacco lobbyist. This job has provided some conflict in Nick┤s life but he still is loyal to its work and is really good at it.
As someone who likes satire, and loves learning about society throughout time (thus one of many reasons I adore "Mad Men"), I approached Jason Reitman┤s first feature length film with high expectations of being a well-made social commentary (the ultimate point of a satire), but unfortunately I was disappointed. "Thank You for Smoking" counts with solid comedic acting, with the best being Aaron Eckhart as a charismatic modern Don Draper like character; a great comedic timing, jokes that mostly get a laugh out of you, good cinematography (which also reminded me of the first three seasons of "Mad Men", due to its orangey executive look), Reitman┤s directing feels like a combination of your average quirky indie comedy director with an Edgar Wright editing style, sometimes the manipulative nature of the dialog works, a hilarious "Fight Club" like narration, a big entertaining value, Nick Naylor┤s relationships feel genuine, a well-crafted moral ambiguity, and I love that its ending doesn't go to safe territory and sticks to Naylor┤s character. With all that being said, this film doesn't completely work because of two reasons: Reitman is so focused on the manipulative nature of the concept and the jokes that it just feels like he is just making fun of everyone that's represented in this film instead of making a social commentary, and the script desperately needed some focus, as the whole film feels like you are watching a handful of sitcom episodes, sure they may be funny but are irrelevant to the overall attempt of a story this film has.
"Thank You for Smoking" has its moments of well-made satire thanks to its intentionally manipulative and hilarious dialog, but overall it is a half made satire as it lacks a statement and focus. If you want a good laugh or want a smarter than average comedy, this is the film for you, but if you expect a satire that could live up to its title, then you will be disappointed.
The movie stars Aaron Eckhart as tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor who's charm, charisma, and word-twisting makes him tremendously successful at his job. At every turn he does what he can against those who seek to prove the negative consequences of smoking. His biggest rival is Vermont Senator Ortolan Finistirre portrayed by William H. Macy. The Senator is pushing for a bill that would require all cigarette packages to have a skull and crossbones label that says POISON.
While fighting against the proposed legislation, Naylor is a divorced man who also wants to be a good father for his son Joey (Cameron Bright) but it can be difficult given what he does. Naylor also struggles with temptation from a young journalist (Katie Holmes), bribing the original Marlboro Man turned cancer patient (Sam Elliot), and maintaining his image.
With all of the conflict set in motion the film has some very clever moments that make it stand out as a masterpiece. While on a business trip with his son, Naylor cleverly explains to him how he wins arguments. He tells Joey to explain why chocolate is the preferred flavor of ice cream while Naylor defends vanilla. After Joey gives his argument Naylor says that there needs to be freedom of choice when it comes to ice cream flavors. Joey asks why he didn't make an argument for vanilla and Naylor says that he doesn't need to argue for himself because his goal is to prove Joey wrong "because if you're wrong, I'm right!" The ending takes place at a congressional hearing and I dare not give away any more.
With blatant satire and strong balance of drama and some quirky comedic moments, "Thank You for Smoking" is a delightfully unscrupulous treasure to behold!