ThankYouSmokingThank You For Smoking gets much of its juice from a superb Aaron Eckhart as Nick Naylor, a smooth-talking spokesman for Big Tobacco who has to balance his slimy pandering with the ever-delicate act of fatherhood. Sure, the ultimate message (smoking = baaaad) is pretty heavy-handed, but there’s a more interesting theme at play here; do those who represent causes that they know are bad take their work home to their families at night? While a lobbyist is obviously an extreme example of this concept, I imagine scores of accountants, attorneys, and other such professionals wrestle with the same issue on a daily basis. Thank You For Smoking implies that as tough a balancing act as it may be, it can be accomplished. Indeed, the finest and most poignant moments in Thank You For Smoking are the father/son moments between Nick and his boy Joey: unorthodox, to be sure, as many occur on a promotional road trip to California, but authentic nonetheless. Parts of the film, such as Katie Holmes’ boring reporter character (the ol’ “I’ll fuck anyone for a story” journalist tramp), feel kinda recycled, but that’s standard in today’s indie market. All things considered, this one’s well above-average.

60/100