Thank You for Smoking (2005)
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, J.K. Simmons, William H. Macy, Cameron Bright, Maria Bello, David Koechner, Sam Elliot, Rob Lowe, Robert Duvall, and Katie Holmes
Director: Jason Reitman
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars
Follow the adventures of Nick Naylor (Eckhart), chief lobbyist for the tobacco industry, as he advocates for the rights of smokers and tobacco companies while serving as a good role model for his son and hanging out with his best friends Polly (Bello) and Bobby (Koechner), lobbyists for the alcohol industry and gun manufacturers respectively. (Together, they make up the MOD [Merchants of Death] Squad.)
"Thank You for Smoking" is a hilarious satire that skewers American business, politics, pop culture, family life... it touches on just about every aspect of life for the American middle- and upper-middle class.
Aaron Eckhart is the single true star of this film, and he is perfect as the lovable rogue Nick Naylor--the Sultan of Spin who could argue that black is white and make it seem sensible. He is supported by a crisp, well-written script, a tightly edited and well-paced film, and a supported by a group of actors who are perfectly cast in their roles. William H. Macy as the obnoxious crusading US Senator is particularly good, but Rob Lowe as a slimey Hollywood producer, Katie Holmes as a sexpot reporter, and Maria Bello and David Koechner as Nick's best friends--his only friends when he hits a rough spot--also turn in excellent and funny performances.
"Thank for Smoking" is a movie that most thinking adults will watch with a constant smile on their face. The exception would be particularly demented anti-smoking Nazis who will almost certainly be upset by the lack of preaching, annoyed that all the characters are likable, and frustrated by the happy ending for Nick and his pals.