Friday, January 19, 2007
Thank You For Smoking
Thank You For Smoking (Jason Reitman, 2006) 
I really don't have much to say about this, it has its funny moments and all, but I didn't feel that it was as biting as a satire as I was led to believe. Some of that probably had to do with seeing Idiocracy right before it. Anyway, Reitman seems to take swipes at all sides, not just the tobacco industry but also the shameless nature of lobbying and it bedfellows on Capitol Hill. The film gives it to the hypocrites in government just as much as the tobacco industry. As someone who has a libertarian stance on smoking, I agree with the message that smoking is a personal decision and a conscious decision that a person makes. That's basically Nick Naylor's speech at the end, but then he goes and ruins it by making the soul-searching gesture and quits. It rings hollow to me for some reason. It doesn't fit mostly because the film is much like Nick Naylor himself, smug. Aaron Eckhart does a good job of portraying the right amount of smugness all the while creating defenses for himself and what he does. Reitman as a director plays right into this, which at times makes the film too proud of itself and "its look who I'm pissing off now" attitude. This had the possibility to really get it right if it just could keep its focus and not cop out at the end.