Saturday, October 07, 2006

Thank You For Smoking: Grade B


Thank You For Smoking

Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Adam Brody, Sam Elliott, Katie Holmes, Rob Lowe, William H. Macy, Robert Duvall, Cameron Bright. Director Christopher Buckley.

Eckhart plays a tobacco industry lobbyist who is successful and loves his job. The humor of the story comes from his outrageous portrayal of “big tobacco” in a positive, even angelic light. His bull sessions with fellow “Merchants of Death” (gun and alcohol lobbyists) are a scream. His relationship with his son, who wants to learn how to argue to win, adds enough dimensionality to lift the movie up beyond a mere skit. Fine acting all around. The movie is a light satire, not an accusation like “The Insider.” Oddly, not a single character is shown smoking in the whole movie; not even a single lit cigarette is shown anywhere. That’s not really believable, but there is so much tobacco product placement in movies today that the producers either were wary of preserving the moral high ground, or they could not find a tobacco company with a sense of humor that would chip in.

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