The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (2005) ***

 

Aaron (In the Company of Men) Eckhart stars in this black (lung) comedy as a smooth talking lobbyist for Big Tobacco who goes on talk shows and defends the corporations’ rights to sell you cancer causing cigarettes.  He’s a spin doctor of incredible skill whose answers often make you forget the question, even though his occupation is less than reputable.  (“Michael Jordan plays basketball, Charles Manson killed people, I do this.”)  His chief opponent is a Vermont senator (William H. Macy) who wants to put a poison label on all cigarettes.  Eckhart’s defense?  Everyone knows smoking is bad for you so why do you need a label.  While trying to reconnect with his son (Cameron Bright), he also has to deal with a sex starved reporter (Katie Holmes) as well as a group of radical anti-smokers who kidnap him and cover him with nicotine patches. 

 

Eckhart’s magnetic performance is the glue that holds this flick together.  While the pacing slacks up during the film’s second half, Eckhart always commands your complete attention.  I especially liked his verbal sparring with Macy as well as his quieter scenes with Bright.  The excellent supporting cast also includes David Koechner, Maria Bello, Sam Elliott, Rob Lowe and Robert Duvall, all of whom are pretty great. 

 

The film kinda makes it’s point early on and plays all of it’s cards too soon, but it’s filled with enough biting satirical jabs to keep you fully amused.  Director Jason Reitman (son of Ghostbusters’ Ivan Reitman) went on to direct the blockbuster Juno. 

Tags: comedy, t
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