Title: Thanks For Smoking
Genre: Comedy, Satire
Release Date: Theatrical 3/17/06, available on DVD 10/3/06
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Adam Brody, Sam Elliot, Rob Lowe, William H. Macy, David Koechner, Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall
Director: Jason Reitman
Screenwriter: Jason Reitman
MPAA Rating: R
Reason for Rating: Language and some sexual content
Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes
Based on Christopher Buckley’s novel, this is the story of Big Tobacco versus the United States. Nick Nayler (Aaron Eckhart) is a lobbyist and front man for Big Tobacco. It is his job to “spin” stories in favor of Tobacco’s positions, as well as disseminate findings from the Academy of Tobacco to the public. The Academy was founded by the Captian (Robert Duvall) to disprove adverse health side effects of cigarettes and of course he is the Don of the tobacco world.
Nick’s chief opposition is a Senator from Vermont (William H. Macy) and his closest allies are fellow lobbyists for guns and alcohol. Thank You For Smoking gives a cynical view of the world of Washington insiders and how they play and more importantly how they cheat.
Have you ever laughed at something horrible and known right away you weren’t supposed to and that only made it funnier? That’s this movie. The characters are hilariously flexible in the morality department and that is exactly what makes them so human and likable. I couldn’t believe I was rooting for a lobbyist. I spent a good amount of time working in and around D.C and if you want a crash course in the dark under belly of politics, this is the most fun you’ll ever have in school. The bizzaro bribes and outlandish arguments are spot on. This wasn’t a movie making fun of politicians or big business, it was making fun of us. We are the poor schleps that let lobbyists convince us that the politicians are lying and politicians tell us that the lobbyist are immoral and yet they both share a deranged sycophantic relationship, where one can’t live without the other.
This movie is more than art imitating life. No, no faithful readers this is an exact likeness. The politicians and lobbyists fight each other for their own agenda, using whatever means necessary and we, We The People sit and watch, and vote, or don’t, and complain or become ambivalent, but definitely watch. This is the type of movie I love to see, unpopular in nature, edgy and well developed. Jason Reitman debuts as a director with this well crafted piece and I applaud him. A must have for any DVD collection.
Hit or No Hit: Coach Mike gives this a triple, logging two RBI’s as well. Oddly enough, the cigarette swilling batter falls to his knees half way to third and gets tagged out. Still, the runs count. Inning over.