Thank You For Smoking

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Thank You For Smoking
Review (8/10)
(By Reginald Williams)

Thank You for Smoking is a satire teetering on the precipice of the highest quality work produced for the genre. Jason Reitman's film deals with serious issues but filters them through enough comedy that the viewer almost doesn't realize (and sometimes never does) that an important truth has been spoken by its cadre of characters until the next scene has started. Aaron Eckhart plays Nick Naylor, the chief lobbyist for the cigarette industry. When someone is needed to speak on behalf of the cigarette industry in a public venue, Nick Naylor is at the top of the list. Naylor is the kind of amoral public speaker that most public relations professionals wish and aspire to be. He can talk virtually anybody into seeing his point of view. He tells his young son Joey that when you're in an debate, you don't have to prove that your point of view is correct - you only have to prove that the other guy's point of view is wrong. Once that is done, only your assertion remains so it has to be correct.

This is only one of the many truths spoken and also one of the key points in how Naylor sells the viability of his profession to his son. Naylor is also a member of a three person social group consisting of Maria Bello (an employee of the alcohol industry) and David Koechner (an employee of the firearm industry). They call themselves the M.O.D. (Merchants of Death) Squad and meet in a local restaurant ever week to socialize and discuss various topics like which of their industries kills the most people per year.

During this particular year in Naylor's life, he has come under fire from Vermont Senator Ortolan K. Finistirre, played with political zeal by William H. Macy. Finistirre believes that Naylor is a bottom feeder and constantly invites him and other representatives of the cigarette industry to Senate hearings on multiple cigarette issues, one being the inclusion of a poison label on the front of all cigarette packages. Katie Holmes also plays a vital role in this film as a newspaper reporter who is writing a story on Naylor. Naylor is able to get himself out of many worrisome situations that his job gets him into. Not even his skill is adequate enough for the trouble he talks himself into during subsequent meetings with Holmes' Heather Holloway. On these particular occasions, it isn't Naylor's fault - he was persuaded to speak to Holloway by influence of her "glorious" journalistic talents.

Thank You For Smoking drives home the moral turpitude of many of the most influential people in leading industries and politics institutions throughout the United States of America. It is humorous and informative, much like Warren Beatty's Bulworth. There is a sign hanging in the restaurant that the M.O.D. Squad meets in that reads "America is the Greatest Government". In smaller letters underneath it reads "That Can Be Bought". It shows up near the end of the second act of the film but by then the sign is telling us what we already know.

Keyword : Eli, United States, Rio, Comedy, Social, Political, Satire, Katie Holmes, Maria Bello, You, William H. Macy, David, Jason, William, Beat, Ant, Abel, Ate, Deal, Drive, Ex, Here, Lobbyist, Next, Once, Only You, Out, Ready, Sign, SIS, Thank You, Thank You For Smoking, The Greatest, The List, The Man, Up, W., War, Will, FILM, Bi, Eric, Now, M., Ady, Cas, Ello, Ron, Arin, Tia, Jason Reitman

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