If you think that movies always talk about the slightly same things, think again. You know, there is a variety of movies out there. Some of them are quite different from others because they go more thematic and specific. Just like “Thank You For Smoking”. This movie tells you the beauty of communicating.
The idea behind the story of “Thank You For Smoking” centers on a character named Nick Naylor (portrayed by Aaron Eckhart). He was a lobbyist. He worked for speaking and spinning argument to defend the existence of cigarette industry in America. In brief, he spoke for the “legality” of smoking, while practicioners and health-workers suggested people to quit or avoid smoking because of the bad effect for health. But, Nick had an incredible talent of communicating that always helps him get rid of even the worst discussion or offense. Meanwhile, Nick was a father of a son named Joey (portrayed by Cameron Bright). After Nick’s divorce, Joey lived with his mom and his new dad. However, Joey spent most weekends with Nick. Now it’s a quite dilemma for Nick to work professionally for speaking on behalf of cigars company while being a good role-model for his son.
Now you see that the movie went a little bit drama, right? Yes, of course it was a drama—which is kind of mainstream—but I’d like to say that the theme was so rare. I like Nick Naylor and his profession, and I am wondering if there is a real profession like this out there. At first, I thought that this movie will go with a bunch of wonderful dialogues. I thought that there is a lot of communicating lessons I can absorb from this movie. However, I was a little bit overexpected. A blend of family drama, satire, and a slice of romance make this movie become quite cheesy.
"That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong." -- Nick Naylor
I have to admit that, yes, some parts amazed me. The way Nick defended his wrong argue (and, at last, won it), advices to be great at debating that Nick gave to his son, and the way Nick got rid of negative issue about him for his relationship with Heather Holloway (played by Katie Holmes) were nice. The opening scene was interesting (and the opening credit was creatively made) for me to watch for the rest of the duration. But, hmm... I feel a little bit bored in the middle part. I don’t know, maybe because the story didn’t focus very well or because it went more dramatic. I prefer the first-mentioned to be the main reason. The middle part was like trying to link the chemistry between Nick and Joey, but it just lost focus. Fortunately, the movie ended in a bit nuance of relief, which was quite unexpected. Then it went back to its initial tense. Some comedies were not funny, but they gave a good variation in the middle of "boredom".
Jason Reitman, as both the director and script writer, seems trying to focus to the development of Nick’s characterization from Nick’s surroundings. What I meant as surroundings here is not only his profession, but more about his family—especially his son—and his “enemies”. I must say that the effort is good but lack of an invisible part. I don’t understand if it was what truly written in the book adapted for this movie or it is pure a creative development of Reitman, but yes, I feel like this movie can do more to “hit” me. And I am sure that it comes from the script, not the cast. The cast was good; Aaron Eckhart could do the always-cool and never-worried Nick Naylor. Meanwhile, Cameron Bright seems to get balanced with Aaron for being a thoughtful, critical son of a lobbyist. The rest of the cast, I must say, was quite unnoticed but played good.
Yet, it doesn’t decrease my appreciation to this movie. Nick Naylor taught me some essential things about winning an argument. You know, I like movies like this: movies that talk about specific, untouched topics that have never been raised by other movies. But, really, I hope something more from this movie. I hope there were more smart dialogues, more “hitting” scenes, and more noticed parts. I hope.
DETAILS & CREDITS
THANK YOU FOR SMOKING | COUNTRY USA YEAR 2005 MPAA R for language and some sexual content GENRE Comedy, Drama CAST Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright, Katie Holmes, William H. Macy, Maria Bello WRITER Christopher Buckley (novel), Jason Reitman (screenplay) DIRECTOR Jason Reitman AWARDS Nominated for 2 Golden Globes, another 10 wins & 18 nominations BUDGET/GROSS $6,500,000 (est.) / $24,792,061 (USA per 10 Sept 2006) IMDB RATING 7.7/10 METASCORE 71/100 (Generally Favorable) TOMATOMETER 86% (Certified Fresh) MORE INFO