Monday, April 17, 2006

"Everyone's got to pay the mortgage…" - Yuppie Nuremberg Defense offered by tobacco spokesperson Nick Naylor in Thank You For Smoking

We watched this film this weekend and I thought it was a good but slight adaptation of the very funny Christopher Buckley novel. There was almost nothing done wrong with this movie. From the details of cool artsy throwback opening credits, to the soundtrack redolent with smoke, to the superb supporting cast and note perfect lead played by Aaron Eckhart. The lapses in script seemed to come from the addition of the role of the Damien looking son, the diminishing of the Maria Bello character and a couple of subplots removed. (Nothing was probably lost to the trimming of the Katie Holmes sex scenes, alas). Although the changes don't significantly detract from plot the movie seemed brief and ended on an odd note.
This could have been due to problems the theater had with the sound and film which ended up removing most of the step-dad's role entirely from our screening. Overall I would say wait for the dvd as you won't miss much by not seeing it on big screen.
I would hope that this will send people to the books of Chris Buckley. From the conspiracy theory spoof of a George Will type talking head in Little Green Men, to a First Lady on trial for assassination of her husband in No Way to Treat a First Lady, to the most recent dark humor take on Middle East Florence of Arabia (which also features return of Nick Naylor) all of them bring the authors inside the beltway knowledge, humor and gift of satire into entertaining novels.
The director, Simon Reitman (son of the filmmaker Ivan), maintained a blog while directing that was fun to peruse. He was clearly excited about working on this movie. It will be interesting to see what he does next.

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