Thank You for Smoking

Rated NR

Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, makes his first feature film, and it’s passably decent. Ostensibly an edgy, politically incorrect comedy (at least that’s what its advertising claims), it’s actually a heartwarming family film about a father trying to connect with his 12-year-old son. Aaron Eckhart is fabulous as Nick Naylor, tobacco lobbyist and paradigm of the deep evils of the self-help movement. Cameron Bright is horrifyingly cute as his young son, and Katie Holmes is freakishly perky as his bed-buddy and betrayer. When the film works, it works because of some top-notch dialogue and Eckhart’s ability to sell it. When it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work because it fails to be funny enough to justify its indulgences. Still, it’s a decent first effort and probably will lead Jason Reitman into a career like his father’s, characterized by initial promise and mature mediocrity.

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