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
I saw this at Sundance last night (actually it was a Salt Lake screening, and thus the filmmakers didn't bother to drive 30 miles to talk to us...not that I am bitter...) At first I was a bit worried that this was going to be the old hat anti smoking movie that makes all smokers victims of the eeeeevil tobacco companies, but then I saw that it was based on a Christopher Buckley novel and I relaxed a bit! This pokes fun at all sides of the issue, from the tobacco lobbyist's insistence that there has been "no conclusive proof" that tobacco is harmful, to the legislator's thinking that putting a warning label on cigarettes will actually make someone pick up a cigarette package, read the label, and decide not to smoke...as if ANYONE with half a brain doesn't know that inhaling smoke into your lungs will harm you.
Aaron Eckhart did a fine job in his role, as did Sam Elliot, Rob Lowe, Katie Holmes...I could go on and on. It's fascinating to watch Eckhart's character spin and spin so that he brings people around to his way of thinking. He has to be representing one of the most hated industries in the United States, yet he is able to convince people as to the opposite! I highly recommend this film!
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