Thank You for Smoking

Film, Comedy

Time Out says

‘Thank You for Smoking’ is a movie about smoking in which no one is ever actually seen smoking. Slick, shark-eyed protagonist Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), a lobbyist for the multi-billion-dollar American tobacco industry, is a smoker, or so we’re told, but no evidence of a habit is forthcoming – though at one point some anti-tobacco activists pelt Naylor with nicotine patches. Those hypocritical lung-huggers have nothing on Naylor and his buddy lobbyists, who call themselves the ‘Merchants of Death’ or the MOD Squad (Maria Bello shills for alcohol and David Koechner advocates for guns’n’ammo). The premise of writer-director Jason Reitman’s cynical farce is that a sharp mind, sufficiently motivated by cash and competitive bloodlust, can modify any fact and contort any line of logic to serve a bad but profitable idea. Naylor begins to fret about the ethical quandaries of his success, however, when faced with pointed questions from his son (Cameron Bright).

Adapted from Christopher Buckley’s satirical source novel, Reitman’s first feature is potent with one-liners, but the whole is less than the sum of its zingers and its impressive cast, including Robert Duvall as a crusty billionaire, William H Macy as a nefarious blue-state senator, and Rob Lowe as a slippery agent (Katie Holmes is miscast per usual, this time as a crusading reporter). Besotted with its dazzling protagonist and committed to equal-opportunity attack, the film has no point of view beyond the position that everyone concerned is either amoral or an idiot or an amoral idiot. Aiming at all targets and hitting none of them, the movie is as harmless and inconsequential as a candy cigarette.

By: Jessica Winter



Release details

Release date:
Friday June 16 2006
92 mins

Cast and crew

Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
Aaron Eckhart
Maria Bello
Katie Holmes
William H Macy
Robert Duvall
Adam Brody
Sam Elliott
Rob Lowe
JK Simmons
Cameron Bright
David Koechner
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