Monday, January 22, 2007

Movie: Thank You For Smoking (4/5 stars) 2005

I'm so much an anti-smoker that I'm almost prejudiced, and that made me really concerned when we rented this DVD.

Two things about the movie:

1. There is no smoking at all in the movie (except in the extra scenes, not in the main movie)
2. It is one of THE most clever movies I have ever seen

It is a comedy parody of the big tobacco industry and how they promote themselves. It follows Nick Naylor, a tobacco lobbyist going from interview to interview, from TV talk show to Hollywood to reporters promoting big tobacco and finding a way to sell more cigarettes. He's a smooth talker with interesting ways of looking at his morals and a more interesting way of "winning" arguments. He has to balance his flexible morals against raising his son Joey (played by Cameron Bright).

This movie taught me a lot about debating and not a lot about big tobacco (which is good). I thought it was intelligent and well written with the right mix of smart ass and ridiculous, with all the right people getting what is coming to them.

My favorite scene (excuse the approximate dialog):
Nick: say we're debating ice cream. Chocolate versus Vanilla. You're taking chocolate, what do you say?
Joey: Chocolate, it's the best, it's all I eat. What do you say?
Nick: I say, "It's not about the chocolate or the vanilla, it's about the right to choose, that's the most important thing!"
Joey: But you haven't answered which is better, Chocolate or vanilla.
Nick: People don't have to see that I'm right, but that you're wrong.
Joey: But you haven't convinced me.
Nick: I don't have to convince you, I have to convince them (pointing at the people around them)

They then flash to Nick and Joey on a ferris wheel eating vanilla ice cream.

Great movie.

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