Thank You for Smoking was a very funny and informative take on the Public Relations working environment. It showed just how much your job, who you run PR for, and how popular your company is, can really impact your life. This mans family was changed because quality time with his kid, as well as the view point his wife took on him, were altered because he worked for smoking companies! Plus, because he chose to run PR for companies that are generally hated (even by chain smokers) it negatively impacted his resume and people views on him. Overall I think it really shows the hardships that PR reps will encounter. You will need to save companies people hate, you’ll need to come up with ideas and pass them off as the ideas of the CEO, and you’ll ultimately need to decide if your morals, or the companies wellfare matter more.
Thank You For Smoking examines the life of a cigarette lobbyist named Nick Naylor. His job is to convince people that cigarettes are not harmful, and does so by any means necessary. Though he repeatedly says he does not believe he is doing anything wrong, it seems as though he discovers by the end everything he did was wrong. From lying to deceiving, Nick did everything he could to convince people he was right.
The movie was very comical and filmed in a “not so serious” manner, but the message it held was serious. It shows that no matter what, you need to stay truthful. Nick broke every ethical rule possible and ended up paying for it. Nick said that he “needed to pay the mortgage”, but that does not condone any of his actions. As a journalist and person working in public relations, you have a lot of persuasive power. You need to make sure you use it the right way though.
The best moments of Thank You for Smoking involve Nick’s frequent dinners with his cohorts from the “MOD Squad:” a woman representing the Alcohol Lobby, and a man representing the Gun Lobby. They form a kind of politically incorrect support group. In one scene, they actually argue over which product kills more people! The film is at its best during these well written and acted scenes. In addition, there are other clever moments including the scenes with the great actor Robert Duvall as the defiant head of a tobacco company who takes Nick under his wing.