Thank You for Smoking

"Excellent"

Thank You for Smoking Review


Striding up alongside such great anti-heroes as Tony Soprano and Scarface comes Nick Naylor, a silver-tongued lobbyist with such a tremendous gift for gab that he actually successfully defends the tobacco industry. And as much as you probably think cigarette makers are evil, you'll find yourself - as with all anti-heroes - actually rooting for this scumbag.

Why? Well, besides star Aaron Eckhart's flawlessly sumptuous performance as Naylor, I'll just quote a line from Naylor himself: "The beauty of argument is that if you argue correctly, you're never wrong." In the end, Nick Naylor is not just right; he's unquestionably the most passionate, most seductive man on the screen, and everyone else just looks limp and dull beside him.

It's the golden years just before the tobacco lawsuit payouts, and Naylor's on his way up at the tobacco-funded Academy of Tobacco Studies. He's the golden boy of tobacco patriarch The Captain (Robert Duvall), because he can tell that Nick loves - scratch that - relishes his work. But, away from the office, his only friends are other vice peddlers that go by the nickname The MOD (Merchants of Death) Squad: alcohol lobbyist Polly (Maria Bello) and gun lobbyist Bobby Jay (David Koechner). He's also divorced, struggling to gain the respect of his son Joey (Cameron Bright).

Much of the film follows Nick through that struggle to bond with Joey, which produces some of his most humanizing moments. Nick likes to say he does what he does because of his "yuppie Nuremberg defense": Gotta pay the mortgage. But more likely, these often-sappy vignettes help you understand that it's simply inspiring to do a job you're so good at, and Nick's skill at his craft is what finally wins Joey over.

But the real fun stuff is obviously in Nick's professional life. He takes apart a talk-show panel replete with a balding teen cancer victim. He skewers an anti-smoking-crusading senator (William H. Macy) by comparing "evil" big-tobacco funding to the senator's campaign donations. He conducts a luxuriously amoral meeting with a big-time Hollywood agent (Rob Lowe) who's brokering a deal for more cigarettes in movies. The sets come rapid-fire in this 90-minute comedy, never leaving you deflated, apart from the somewhat ho-hum ending.

The pure backbone of the film is obviously Naylor, and the spinal cord is Eckhart chewing up the scenery in the guise of this rich character. Anyone who dug Eckhart's villainous corporate shark in In the Company of Men will see that brilliance and more here. While I haven't read the Chistopher Buckley book the film is based on, writer-director Reitman seems to zero in on choice, efficient dialogue that helps elevate this movie to new levels of delight.

All of this good fun is just captivating enough to take your mind off the incredibly un-PC stance that it takes on hardcore issues. Afterward, you may feel a little dirty for all the illicit laughs. Good thing you won't feel guilty about having a post-seduction cigarette.

But not if you're pregnant.



Thank You for Smoking

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th April 2006

Box Office USA: $24.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $24.8M

Budget: $6.5M

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight

Production compaines: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Room 9 Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 154 Rotten: 25

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: David O. Sacks

Starring: as Nick Naylor, as Polly Bailey, as Joey Naylor, as Jack, as Lorne Lutch, as Heather Holloway, as Jeff Megall, William H. Macy as Senator Ortolan Finistirre, as The Captain, as Bobby Jay Bliss, J.K. Simmons as BR, as Jill Naylor, as Pearl

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.