Thank You for Smoking
Smoking saved my life
In today’s world, just about everything that has public appeal has its share of detractors. However, none can claim to have as big of a mass of detractors as the smoking industry. We have known for many years that smoking is bad for you, and that it can very likely lead to future illness. Well, if that is the case, then why are they still so expensive and selling so well? Well, the answer to that question is all thanks to guys like this movie's main character, Nick Naylor.
Nick Naylor is a tobacco lobbyist and vice-president of the Academy of Tobacco Studies, which researches the link between tobacco and lung cancer. They claim that through over 15 years of research, they have found no direct evidence that would point to tobacco leading to lung cancer. It is Nick Naylor’s job to use this (false) evidence to fight back all of the tobacco industries detractors. He does this through smooth talking, lying, and changing the subject… and it always works!
It is because of Aaron Eckhart (who plays Nick Naylor) that this movie works so well. Yes, the screenplay and directing are fantastic, but if you had someone else who didn’t have the presence or charm of Aaron Eckhart, it would not have worked. He makes the viewer go along with (as does he those who are against him) all of the lies and ludicrous things he is saying, simply because he is a great talker. It is hilarious to see a character get slammed with all of these accusations that are supported with concrete evidence, and then have Nick Naylor just wiggle his way out of it and make the other person look like the bad guy.
Ultimately, this is one of the best dark comedies I have seen. The humor stems solely from the fact that much of what you see here is very true. Any industry out there trying to make a name and is being sued or attacked is going to do anything in its power to make itself look like the good guy, and we witness that in full-force here. I felt Jason Reitman (writer, director) did a fantastic job conveying the absurdity of the simple truth in today’s society, and letting that alone provide all of the laughs – and there are many - in this great movie.