Thank You For Smoking – 5 stars

Amazon.com: Thank You for Smoking (Widescreen Edition): Aaron Eckhart,  Cameron Bright, Maria Bello, Joan Lunden, Eric Haberman, Mary Jo Smith,  Todd Louiso, Jeff Witzke, J.K. Simmons, Marianne Muellerleile, Alex Diaz,  Jordan Garrett,

The sharpest of satires.  Aaron Eckart is slick motormouth and p.r. flack Nick Naylor, a smooth and ingratiating shill for the tobacco industry. In his rise, fall, and semi-rise, the film’s message – think for yourself because there’s money and power in letting folks tell you what is good for you, be they corporate behemoths or self proclaimed protectors of the common good – is hilariously delivered. 

As Naylor struggles internally with selling death, the fight is not a one way dawning. It goes 15 rounds and the preening self-regard and power seeking of the do-gooders is contrasted with the soulless, rapacious greed of the baddies.  It’s a close run thing, and an enjoyable fight to watch.  

Indeed, this movie should be required viewing for every ex-hippie who now clamors to ensure that his or her child live a risk-free life, at the expense of everyone who might otherwise own a gun, light a smoke, have a drink, eat a transfat, shout an obscenity or injure budding self-esteem. 

I mean, we know the corporations are bad, as exemplified by my favorite line from the film, from the President of The Academy of Tobacco Studies (played by J.K. Simmons):  

We don’t sell Tic Tacs, we sell cigarettes. And they’re cool, available, and addictive.  The job is almost done for us.

 

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