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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

-Scathing Social Satire Takes Shots At All-

Plan B
Chicken fried steak is good for you
Plan B

Thank You For Smoking is a fast paced satire packed with humor. For those viewers seeking a comedy that delivers some great laughs without relying on raunchy humor or sight-gags this clever satire is it. American moral values are at question when Nick Naylor, tobacco lobbyist, heads to Washington D.C. with his son and ex-wife by his side. Also accompanying Nick are his good friends from the “M.O.D.” squad (“Merchants of Death”), collectively, representatives from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms lobbies. If laughing at equivocal American values is your thing, this flick is for you.

The movie follows Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) through his rapid rise in the tobacco lobby. With a pretty smile and a fast mouth, Naylor is able to win over the most unlikely of supporters. After courting favor with the tobacco world’s head honcho, Doak “The Captain” Boykin (Robert Duvall), Naylor is at the very top of his game. With an assuring nod from The Captain, “Tobacco takes care of its own.” Naylor heads to Washington, a la Frank Capra as the mouth, for the tobacco industry at a Senate committee hearing. It is just then, at the apex of his career that Naylor fails to heed the advice of his friends from the “M.O.D” squad and falls into a romance with an unscrupulous reporter named Heather Halloway (Katie Holmes).

Thank You For Smoking plays games with the expectations of a typical social satire. Naylor, who should be the object of much scrutiny, is humanized through the relationship with his son. Senator Ortolan K. Finistirre (William H. Macy), the Birkenstock wearing senator from Vermont, is vilified through his relationship with an intern. Meeting characatures every step of the way, no one in the modern American political establishment escapes zingers from the creators of this screwball comedy.

Christopher Buckley wrote the novel and Jason Reitman (member of the Ivan Reitman Hollywood clan) has credits as both screenwriter and director. Reitman has chosen good material for his directorial style and the movie is very tight, all things considered. There is good use of montage in the movie, using what seemed like raw video footage to give the intimate feel of a road trip between father and son, Nick Naylor and his son Joey Naylor (Cameron Bright). Running about an hour and a half, the movie is just the right length and with an R rating it should draw just the right crowd to make seeing it worth while. Check it out at Kendall Sq. Cambridge and enjoy the show.