When an independent gets a wide release (and it happens to include Fort Collins theaters), chances are, not only does someone think they can make some money from it, but it’s going to be a good way to spend a couple hours of your day. And what a confusing day it was; now I’m not sure who to feel more angry toward: the big tobacco companies and their conniving practices, or the lawmakers and businessmen trying to put the popularity of lighting up to rest.
This seriously satirical flick, “Thank You for Smoking,” follows big tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor through both of his seemingly conflicting lives: one as a man who spins the truth about the hazards of grit-sticks to the multi-national public, and another as a divorced father trying to raise his son in the most honest and responsible way he can.
Nick is played by Aaron Eckhardt, whom you could just as easily mistake for a used car salesman as he is so good at his job it’ll make you nauseous. Not only could he probably make a cancer patient pick up another pack, but can totally change his nationally ruined name simply by telling reporters a girl he slept with a couple times is a slut. There’s a lesson to be learned here somewhere people, I just know it.
Director David Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, who is an actor and the dude responsible for the superb directing of both “Ghostbuster” movies, has done his daddy proud with this beast. The shots, sets, dialogue and fluidity of the story were all flawless and super-fun to watch.
Like I said, never have I been so confused about which emotions to have toward which actors as I have in this one. The always-amazing William H. Macy did an astounding job of reaffirming my beliefs that politicians are just as scandalous as the big businesses they’re lobbying against. Reporter Heather Holloway, played by Katie Holmes, will harden your beliefs that no matter what the media says, the tape recorder is always listening and Sam Elliott’s character Lorne Lutch just backed up what my momma always told me: smoking will kill ya.
This cigarette smoking fiasco of a flick (surprisingly) shows few people even smoking, which I thought was a touch ironic, and is yet still far from being anti- or pro-smoking propaganda. Sure, it pokes fun at every aspect of smoking, from how cool it is, to the absurdity of the general surgeons warning, to the placement of cigarettes in the hands of Hollywood stars – but do you know what I saw as soon as I left the theater? A bunch of people standing around outside lighting each other’s smokes.
4 out of 5 cigarettes.