With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.
The chief spokesperson and lobbyist Nick Naylor is the Vice-President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. He is talented in speaking and spins argument 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-entitle the Mod 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 a skull and crossed bones in the 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
Leading up to its release, it was reported by numerous trade magazines that Tom Cruise had demanded a sex scene involving his wife, Katie Holmes, be cut from the movie. At the 2006 Hay-On-Wye book festival, director Jason Reitman dismissed this report as complete rubbish, explaining that these reports came from the film's first festival screening where an overzealous projectionist had accidentally cut the scene when splicing the film together (an easy mistake to make, as the scene came at the end of a reel and followed a couple of seconds of black). At a Q&A that followed said screening, Reitman mentioned to the festival audience that there was a missing sex scene in the version they just saw, which was somehow seen by (equally overzealous) reporters as being a result of Tom Cruise and/or Scientology's involvement. See more »
When Nick is giving the stats of how many people cigarettes have killed, the 1 appears in the millions place before the scrolling numbers hit 999,999. See more »
Robin Williger. He is a 15 year old freshman from Racine, Wisconsin. He enjoys studying history; he's on the debate team. Robin's future looked very, very bright. But recently he was diagnosed with cancer, a very tough kind of cancer. Robin tells me he has quit smoking, though, and he no longer thinks that cigarettes are "cool."
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The opening credits are styled to appear as cigarette boxes. See more »
I saw this movie at a screening in DC last night. It was great. Aaron Eckhart, the single leading man with the WORST haircut in Hollywood (full disclosure - I'm damn near bald) matches very well with the direction of Reitman. From the get-go, it's a fast-paced send-up of everyone and everything in the tobacco war. The entire cast does a good job (w/ the exception, maybe, of Katie Holmes). Rob Lowe is hysterical in his cameo, but I have to say Eckhart & his MOD squad buddies (Maria Bello & David Koechner) really light up the screen. Their scenes of discussing the dealing out of death through the industries they represent over drinks are a real strong point of the movie.
The fact that this movie doesn't take sides - and really, could be about any issue, because it's more about the MAN behind the spokesperson - but makes fun of all sides in the tobacco issue. The interaction b/w Nick Naylor (Eckhart) & the old Marlboro Man (Sam Elliot) is priceless, as is the back-and-forth between Naylor & Senator Ortolan Finistirre (William H. Macy) towards the end of the film -it's basically good actors doing what they do well - and it's very funny.
The movie's also a little bit touchy-feely, focusing for a bit on the relationship b/w Naylor & his son, Joey (Cameron Bright) - the kid's good & some of the lines written for him are priceless.
There was one odd, stupid thing - and my wife agrees w/ me on this, so I'm not just being a guy; there are 2 'sex' scenes w/ Eckhart & Katie Holmes, but zero nudity. Nada. Not even partial. We see them having sex in multiple places & positions, but they're almost completely clothed. It just took away from the credibility is all I'm trying to point out here - as I said, my wife actually made the comment before I did.
Bottom line, it's a great movie - well worth the price of admission. It's funny, it's entertaining & it moves, what more could you ask for?
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