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Nick Naylor: "Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk."
on June 25, 2010
When he's not publicly advocating for the tobacco industry (a seemingly daunting task), lobbyist Nick Naylor (Eckhart) hangs at a D.C. tavern booth with two fellow "merchants of death," a firearms tout (Koechner) and alcohol spokeswoman (Bello). Friendly but competitive chats of this "M.O.D. Squad" often entail how many die annually from products they espouse, the point being: the more dangerous the product, the more lofty its spokesman's mission.
Nick is fearless in his defense of Big Tobacco. On panel shows, he runs smoke rings around cancer patients, scientific studies and experts who declare that cigarettes are deadly. When tasked with increasing movie product placement to supplement his employers' new "smoking is cool" campaign, Nick takes his adoring 12-year-old son (Bright) along so he can watch daddy in action.
Eventually, Big T's front man grows a conscience, albeit not a fully developed one. He grudgingly admits to the hazards of smoking but hedges by falling back on the right of ADULTS to choose and the personal responsibility this entails. The correct message is sent when a horrified Nick instinctively knocks a lit ciggie from his boy's mouth during an impromptu press conference.
Of special note are Robert Duvall's amusing caricature of a tobacco company CEO, William H. Macy's virulently anti-smoking senator from Vermont, Rob Lowe as a kimono-clad Hollywood producer and Sam Elliott's cancer-stricken yet mercenary Marlboro Man. Snickering laughs and intelligent dialogue are plentiful in this well-paced film. It's a satire that skillfully walks a fine line, ultimately providing satisfaction to those on both sides of this hot button issue.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.
(7.8) Thank You For Smoking (2005)- Aaron Eckhart/Cameron Bright/Katie Holmes/William H. Macy/Katie Winslow/Robert Duvall/Rob Lowe/Adam Brody/Sam Elliott/Maria Bello/David Koechner/Joan Lunden/Dennis Miller