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Thank You for Smoking (2005)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 14 April 2006 (USA)
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Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

Director:

Jason Reitman

Writers:

Jason Reitman (screenplay), Christopher Buckley (novel)
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Popularity
3,225 ( 1,175)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 12 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Lunden ... Joan Lunden
Eric Haberman Eric Haberman ... Robin Williger
Aaron Eckhart ... Nick Naylor
Mary Jo Smith ... Sue Maclean
Todd Louiso ... Ron Goode
Jeff Witzke ... Kidnapper
J.K. Simmons ... BR
Marianne Muellerleile ... Teacher
Cameron Bright ... Joey Naylor
Alex Diaz Alex Diaz ... Kid #1
Jordan Garrett ... Kid #2
Courtney Taylor Burness ... Kid #3 (as Courtney Burness)
Jordan Del Spina ... Kid #4 (as Jordan Orr)
Maria Bello ... Polly Bailey
David Koechner ... Bobby Jay Bliss
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Storyline

The chief spokesperson and lobbyist Nick Naylor is the Vice President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. He is talented in speaking and spins arguments to defend the cigarette industry in the most difficult situations. His best friends are Polly Bailey that works in the Moderation Council in alcohol business, and Bobby Jay Bliss of the gun business own advisory group SAFETY. They frequently meet each other in a bar and they self-title the M.O.D. Squad, a.k.a. Merchants of Death, disputing which industry has killed more people. Nick's greatest enemy is Vermont's Senator Ortolan Finistirre, who defends in the Senate the use of a skull and crossbones on cigarette packs. Nick's son Joey Naylor lives with his mother, and has the chance to know his father in a business trip. When the ambitious reporter Heather Holloway betrays Nick disclosing confidences he had in bed with her, his life turns upside-down. But Nick is good in what he does for the mortgage. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's no smoke without lies See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gracias por fumar See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$262,923, 19 March 2006

Gross USA:

$24,793,509

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,323,027
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elon Musk: man who closes the car door as Aaron Eckhart's Nick Naylor gets out to board a private plane - Musk owned the plane, and was also an executive producer on the film. See more »

Goofs

When Heather watches Nick on TV, out the window is a sky-scraper. No such structures exist in Washington, DC, because of building height restrictions. Director Jason Reitman points this out in the commentary. See more »

Quotes

Jeff Megall: [Talking to Nick on the phone, late at night] Gotta go. London. It's 7 AM in the Old Empire.
Nick Naylor: When do you sleep?
Jeff Megall: [pause] Sunday.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are styled to appear as cigarette boxes. See more »


Soundtracks

The Joan Lunden Show Theme
Written and Produced by Mateo Messina (as Matt Messina)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Nicotine Kick in satire and sarcasm
19 September 2006 | by Flagrant-BaronessaSee all my reviews

EDITED to omit reported 'spoilers'. And by spoilers I don't mean the "Bruce Willis is dead" type, but "Bruce Willis is bald" types. *sigh*

Some jobs are harder than others but Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), tobacco industry spokesman, handles his with effortless skill. Along with two other spokespeople for the alcohol- and firearms industry respectively, he is part of the self-appointed M.O.D. squad ("Merchants of Death") whose main objective is to talk. To BS. To spin. To confuse and convince their opponent, and charm their audience. A job of such nature naturally requires a certain moral flexibility, and with smooth-talk and sex appeal, it is apparent that Nick is incredibly gifted in this area.

He goes on TV-shows, verbally battles U.S. senators, deems the Cancer Research Foundation "arseholes" – all the while trying to set an example for his 10-year-old son. This is naturally very difficult, doing what he does. So as Big Tobacco (for whom he is a lobbyist) launches a campaign to reinstate the "cool smoking" image into mainstream Hollywood, and sends Nick to work a producer for the proper product-placement, Nick decides to bring his son along for the ride, to see "how daddy works" in hopes to bond with him.

Good satires are hard to come by, but Reitman's "Thank You For Smoking" is so wet with sarcasm and dripping with humour that it is impossible not to enjoy. It navigates the fast-paced industry, the art of talking and spoofs the anti-smoking camp with their chiché "cancer-sick boy in a wheelchair" front (as seen in the opening scene of the film), and it explores the moral flexibility of Americans, without preaching too much in doing so. Only once does it fall prey to predictable moral messages, as when Nick starts reevaluating his work and has moral qualms following his kidnapping by an anti-smoking group, only to swoop down into tongue-and-cheek mode again and return twice as biting – and twice as funny.

Although the film is evenly peppered with fun one-liners and perfect delivery from its cast, the best scene is when the M.O.D. squad are at their usual restaurant hang-out at the end of the day and brag to each other and argue over whose business kills the most people per year. Nick: "How many alcohol-related deaths per day? 100,000? That's what... 270 a day? Wow. 270 people, tragedy. Excuse me if I don't exactly see terrorists getting excited about kidnapping anyone from the alcohol-industry." Maria Bello who plays the detached, funny Moderate Spokeswoman for alcohol has great in-your-face aptitude and attitude, "That's stupid arguing." Aaron Eckhart is also hilarious throughout in a shady businessman way (I now have a major crush on him). Out of all the cast, only Nick's little kid Joe chokes on the well-written lines.

In fact, even the cinematography is well-crafted in the film... just the way a scene cuts to another deserves credit, opening with a rapid-fire ironic note. Speaking of which, "Thank You"'s opening montage of cigarette packages as credits is a stroke of genius on Reitman's part. So are the various casting choices – the amount of respected actors that have been crammed into supporting roles in impressive (Robert Duvall, Sam Elliot, William H. Macy) and give rise to an almost familiar and "feel-good" tone in the film.

That said, I wouldn't call this "laugh-out-loud worthy" exactly and I didn't care for the ending but it is clear that a lot of thought has been put into Thank You For Smoking – every line is a well-articulated kick up the arse to something and delivered by the bucket-load. A very enjoyable little satire.

8 out of 10


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