March 16, 2006

"Thank You for Smoking"

opens in selected cities on Friday. From my review in the upcoming April 10th issue of The American Conservative (subscribe here):

As the average American ages, public interest in music and film declines while the obsession with politics grows. Baby boomers, who spent the 1960s arguing over the Beatles v. the Stones and then the 1970s debating De Niro v. Pacino, now call in to talk radio to harangue about Republicans v. Democrats.

Hollywood was slow to catch on, but since "Fahrenheit 9/11" it's been pushing leftwing agitprop like "Syriana." While plenty of money could be made with rightwing movies, the box office slump will have to get a lot deeper before Hollywood will stoop so low as to appeal to the 51% of the public that voted the wrong way in 2004.

In the meantime, fortunately, there's the witty centrist satire "Thank You for Smoking." It's a reasonably faithful adaptation of the 1994 novel by Christopher Buckley (son of William F.) about the chief spokesman for the tobacco industry, the "yuppie Mephistopheles" Nick Naylor. Produced by David O. Sacks, a research fellow at the libertarian-conservative Independent Institute, the film's plague-on-both-your-houses attitude toward cigarette companies and their killjoy enemies probably won't make it a huge hit, but it's smart and entertaining, although more amusing than hilarious.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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