Sample Blog Header

Thank you for "Thank you for Smoking"

Posted at 6:05 PM on March 30, 2006 by Euan Kerr (1 Comments)

Nick Naylor is everything that is great about America, and everything that is bad too. He is handsome, charming, confident, he dresses well, and he shills for big tobacco.

Naylor is the antihero of "Thank You for Smoking" " director Jason Reitman's deliciously funny satire on the fine art of spin. What Naylor does is despicable, but it's impossible not to love him, and in turn that makes you hate yourself just a little. Despite his friendly, winning style, it's clear Naylor's only allegiance is to winning.

Played to the hilt by Aaron Eckhart, Naylor is the self-styled "Colonel Saunders of Nicotine," who is described by others as the "Yuppie Mephistopheles." He's the Vice-President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies who delights in triumphing again and again as he defends his client's products. He'll even take down a little girl during a visit to his son's grade school class, when she tells him her mother says smoking is bad.

"Is she a doctor? No? Well, she doesn't sound like a credible expert."

The script based on Christopher Buckley's 1994 novel is incredibly tight with hardly a wasted word. What makes it truly wonderful is that just about everyone in the story is a weasel to some extent or another. There's William H. Macy as the anti-tobacco campaigning US Senator whose proper demeanor disappears behind his office's closed doors, and Katie Holmes as an unscrupulous newspaper reporter. Even Nick's son Joey (Cameron Bright) who initially questions his father's occupation comes to appreciate the advantages of "moral flexibility."

"Thank You for Smoking" isn't going to break box office records, but like "Wag the Dog" it's going to stick around in people's psyche's as they delight in just how good some people are at being bad.


Comments (1)

An amoral ubermensch like Naylor cannot decide to become a humdrum average man, which is essentially the story's ending. It didn't ring true.

Posted by Adam McFarlane | April 4, 2006 10:13 AM


Post a comment

The following HTML tags are allowed in your comments:
+ Bold: <b>Text</b>
+ Italic: <i>Text</i>
+ Link: <a href="http://url" target="_blank">Link</a>
Fields marked with * are required.


Comment Preview appears above this form upon pressing the "preview" button. Edit your comment and press "preview" again, until you are satisfied with your comment.

Your comment may not appear on the blog until several minutes after it was submitted.

March 2006
S M T W T F S
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  


Master Archive

MPR News
Radio

Listen Now

Other Radio Streams from MPR

Classical MPR
Radio Heartland

Services