It's been a while since I last saw a good movie that addressed serious issues like in "Thank You For Smoking." Based on a novel by Christopher Buckley, this film is a witty satire about a tobacco lobbyist who is trying to save the face of the cigarette industry in a world where many are labeling smoking a health hazard.
Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) is the spokesman for big tobacco and is an expert at spinning the facts and manipulating others into believing that smoking is good for them. His entourage includes friends such as Polly Baily (Maria Bello), who is a lobbyist for the alcohol industry and David Koechner (Bobby Jay Bliss), who represents the firearm industry. The trio is labeled the M.O.D. squad which stands for Merchants Of Death and they meet for lunch regularly to discuss the trials and tribulations of their respective industries. His son Joey (Cameron Bright) tries to understand what his dad's work is all about and quickly learns to imitate his skill of argument. Naylor's life is going well until he meets local reporter Heather Holloway (Katie Holmes) who has a meaningless affair with him on order to get the scoop for her next article. Holmes was poorly cast in a role that did not seem right for her. William H. Macy was impressive as Ortolan Finistirre, an anti-smoking Vermont senator as was J.K. Simmons, who plays Budd "BR" Rohrabacher, Naylor's backstabbing boss. Other featured stars include Rob Lowe, Robert Duvall and Adam Brody.
This movie exposes corruption within the system and confirms what most of us already know that the mighty dollar and the quest for power is the driving force behind politics and the corporate world. "Thank You For Smoking" is an intelligent political comedy that touches the surface of some important subjects, but could have easily taken it one step further.
-Behind the Scenes: The Making of Thank You For Smoking
-America: Living in Spin
-Interviews: Aaron Eckhart, Jason Reitman, Christopher Buckley, David O. Sacks