The chief spokesperson and lobbyist Nick Naylor is the Vice President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. He is talented in speaking and spins arguments 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-title the M.O.D. 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 of a skull and crossbones on 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
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) is damn good at his job but that doesn't stop him being any less detested for it- he's a spokesperson for the tobacco companies, cleverly putting slants on 'proven' medical facts and observations. But he's facing a new opponent in the shape of Senator Finistirre (William H Macy) who's challenging him to come to a commitee and stand up against some new anti-smoking material he's discovered. He's also got to struggle to be a positive role model to his 12 year old son Joey (Cameron Bright) who he takes on a cross country trip to try and bond with. And, to top it all off, the tobacco giants are desperate to make smoking appear 'cool' in the movies again, a job they leave at the hands of Nick. But a double crossing reporter (Katie Holmes) and a group threatening to bump off Nick for the 'lives he's ruined', his own life is starting to look pretty bumpy on it's own.
Always leave it to the small independent films to produce the best comedies, because they generally do a much better job of it than big over-blown Hollywood productions. TYFS has received a large number of generally glowing reviews up to this point...and I'm glad to say this will be another one.
With a title and premise that was guaranteed to spark controversy (or maybe outrage would be a better word?) rather than go for shock value in any other way, this manages to be a consistently clever and sharp stab at the hypocrisy and over-reaction that can cloud those who make it their lives to poo poo tobacco and those who try and defend it, with one of the greatest cinematic characters in a while in Nick. He defends an industry I despise, so it's credit to the film that he struck a chord as such a savvy and charismatic guy who carries the film to the beat of his own tune. Great performances all round also do the film no end of favours, guided along by a screen play that dishes out witty and sparkling dialogue by the bucket-load, making the film a seemingly never-ending glee ride.
Thank you for Smoking, Please come Again. ****
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