Things I l Learned from the Movies Blogathon: Thank You for Smoking


Hello there, ladies and gentlemen. I know this post doesn’t have anything to do with the Month of Spooks, as in at all. But I heard about a fun little blogathon a while back called “Things I Learned from the Movies”, which would be held by the lovely ladies from Speakeasy and Silver Screenings. I was of course intrigued by this idea because not everyone will learn the same things from every movie. I also like the two hosts a bit and have followed them for a while, so it’s just fun for me to participate in something like this for them. So don’t worry, there will be more Month of Spooks to come, but right now this is the thing taking priority. Then let’s just get into it!

So I have decided to focus on the movie “Thank You for Smoking” when it comes to things I learned from any movie. There are reasons for this, but I’ll get into it in a bit. But before we get into the learning I will have to explain what this movie is about for anyone who hasn’t seen it. *Ahem*.
“Thank You for Smoking” is a 2006 satirical comedy about Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), a spokesman for the tobacco industry who is willing to bullshit anyone or anything to keep the tobacco industry profitable. But it’s not too easy for him, seeing as there are people who are on the opposing side of the smoking argument that he has to verbally battle with. Nick also have to be role model for his son (Cameron Bright). So as you understand he has a lot on his plate. That’s the basic plot as explained (mediocrely) by me. Caught up? Good. So let’s get into it!

So what have I learned from this movie? A few things actually.

Lesson 1: How to win an argument.
Not gonna lie, this lesson kind of ties in to the next one, but I still wanna kind of put it as it’s own first. Anyway… as I said before, Nick’s job is basically to convince people that smoking is great and that people should do it. But there are of course people who are against that argument, that say that smoking is awful and should be banned/stopped. Really, it’s kind of an unwinnable confrontation since both sides will lay down arguments for their opinion. Which means you have to be smart about it, which Nick of course is. To illustrate this, there’s a clever little scene between him and his son at an amusement park that is done a more child-friendly way. Instead of cigarettes v not cigaretts, it’s chocolate v vanilla. Instead of proving that his opinion is right, he proves that his son’s opinion is wrong, which automatically makes Nick right. It’s a clever little analogy for what he does for a living. Have a look:

Did you get it? By proving his son wrong, Nick was in the right. And with that said, this of course kind of leads into the next lesson.

Lesson 2: The freedom of choice.
If you listened closely to what Nick said during the video, he talked about how we need choice when it comes to our ice cream. When you have two sides of an argument, there is a bit of a problem because both sides try to prove that both of them are right and that every other opinion/choice is wrong… it’s basically the internet in a nutshell. You can’t choose for yourself, you have to be forced to one side of the argument. But a lot of these times when people get forced, there’s no real research/education behind it. People should be properly informed about certain things in society so that they can make up their minds about it.

This is why issues/discussions regarding mariuana are kind of grey. One side tries to convince you “No, weed is a drug and should be banned all over the damn world!” while the other side tries to say “No, weed is great and should be everywhere”. None of them are really right… or wrong for that matter. Educate yourself on this, read everything you can and then make up your own damn mind on social issues. That also means that you should not force anyone onto your side of it all, instead just offer the person the freedom of choice to decide on their own. Education on things so people can choose all on their own is key, guys! In other words, if someone tries to say that they’re right and any other argument is wrong:

So that’s kind of what I learned from this movie. Not gonna lie, when I went into it I didn’t really expect to actually learn anything. And even if you don’t wanna learn anything from it, no need to worry. This is overall a great movie with some of the most clever, dark, and funny comedy that I have ever witnessed. Jason Reitman did a fantastic job when he directed this movie, and all the actors are great too. If I can be honest, I think they should show this movie in rhetoric classes if they aren’t already. Seriously, the students could really learn a thing or two from this movie.

I hope you all learned something today. And if you didn’t, then go watch the fucking movie and start learning stuff from the hilarious satire. Also, big thanks to Kristina and Ruth for giving me this opportunity, I had a great time with this (mainly because it gave me a reason to re-watch this movie)! Go check out their shit, guys… it’s pretty great.
Have a good one! And remember:

Movie Review: Thank You For Smoking (2006)


I have a very mixed feelings about corporations and the people who work for them. Doing all kinds of dirty and terrible businesses while having some skilled and equally slimy face to the outside world who will distract people from the bad shit. And while I don’t condone that type of work, I have to admit that it’s pretty fucking clever.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Thank You For Smoking”.

The movie follows Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) who is the spokesperson for Big Tobacco. Nick is in a little bit of a dilemma as he is trying to speak for cigarettes and make people actually keep buying them while at the same time trying to be a bit of a role model for his young son, Joey (Cameron Bright). That’s right, this movie is centered on a man saying smoking is cool and good for you, the usual villain thing… and it aboslutely works perfectly. No, I don’t mean that I wanna go out right now and buy a pack o’ smokes, I am saying that it is a damn clever way of delivering the story. I mean, the moral at the end of the movie (no spoilers) is actually the smartest way of handling this type of thing. And since this is meant to be a satirical comedy, is it funny? Yes it is funny, I would even say that it is pretty fucking hilarious, it made me laugh a lot. And since the the movie managed to deliver a smart & interesting story while also making me laugh, I really have to give it some major cred.

The characters in this movie are colorful, well rounded and incredibly entertaining. And you know what makes them even better? The actors. Aaron Eckhart is aboslutely fantastic in the role as Nick Naylor. He is perfectly on that line of slimy public figure while still remaining as likable as one can be. And you actually root for him in his struggle to balance his job and the relationship to his son. And like I said, Eckhart is terrific in the role. William H. Macy plays the senator who Naylor is constantly butting heads with and he is also great in his role. Cmaeron Bright is really good in the role as Naylor’s son. And then we have J.K. Simmons as Naylor’s boss and of course he knocked it out of the park because he’s J.K. Simmons. There are so many moe names I could mention, but I don’t feel like going through the entire list. But I do really think every actor did a great job in the movie.

What I like about the soundtrack is that it’s kind of a mixed back of styles. No, not in the “Cowboy Bebop” sense where you will basically hear any and all genres possible, but rahter to get a decent mix of stuff. The original score for the movie was composed by Rolfe Kent and it is great, kind of Henry Mancini-esque in it’s style. Then we have a lot of licensed tracks relating back to smoking in some way and they all perfectly fit into the movie when they are used.

This movie was directed by Jason Reitman (Sidenote: Son of Ivan Reitman who directed “Ghostbusters”). And you can really notice that it is one of Reitman’s movies since it has his style that would be noticeable in his movies. Okay, to be honest I have only seen “Juno” prior to this, so I don’t have too much to go on, but according to people who have seen more of his movies they have said that he has a very unique style. Very snappy, very stylish but still very conventional. And I guess that is kind of what I really like about his directing style. I can also say that the movie features some fantastic writing (also done by Reitman) that both made me laugh out loud and think “Yes, this shit is true”. What I am trying to say is that it’s both funny and thought provoking. Fun fact: this movie is based on the book of the same name by Christopher Buckley… just wanted to throw that out there.

This movie has been well received. Om Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Thank You For Smoking” is a very clever satire of not only cigarette companies, but of the American conglomerate in general. It has a smart & well-crafted story, great characters & acting, great music, really good directing, great writing and it is really hilarious. Time for my final score. *Huff puff*. My final score for “Thank You For Smoking” is a 9,90/10. It most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Thank You For Smoking” is now completed.

You wanna get better at rhetorics? Listen to Nick Naylor.