So I had promised some thoughts on Thank You For Smoking. They are:
I loved it.
You should go see it.
And that’s about it, really. I mean, I could say more, but why bother. It’s one of those films you should really just go see when you get the chance. It’s clever, funny as hell, and really well made. All of this despite the fact that it employed Katie Holmes, whose continued existence in Hollywood amazes me. I have yet to see her in *any* role that I found her convincing in. First off, she constantly gets cast in roles like this, where she looks like she stepped right out of high school into the type of high-powered job that most people have to spend years of shitwork to earn. I mean, she played an assistant D.A. in Batman Begins for crying out loud! SHE LOOKS 15!! Do you know how *long* it takes to work your way up to being an assistant D.A.? Perry Mason is rolling over in his grave right now.
On top of that, SHE CAN’T ACT!! Seriously, her response to EVERYTHING is this silly little lip quiver/smirk that completely takes me out of whatever moment she’s in. It’s like, “wow, I can’t believe I’m in a movie! Tee-hee!”. And her delivery is pretty much always condescending, even when it’s not supposed to be. At least most of her fellow pre-school stars have some chops. Anna Paquin, Christina Ricci, Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst? They can act. They bring SOMETHING to the table other than the ability to look cute and young. Holmes? Ugh. I’d call her the female Keanu Reeves, but at least he found a niche as an action star. Right now the only niche she’s filling is as tabloid fodder. The fact that she’s carrying Tom Cruise’s lovechild is like getting the bill after eating a crappy meal. Yeah, paying the bill sucks, but the meal sucked whether you were paying for it or not.
That being said, she has a small enough role in Thank You For Smoking that it’s still wildly enjoyable despite her presence. Aaron Eckhardt is excellent. In fact, he was so good I might finally be able to start telling him and Thomas Jane apart. At the very least I’ll suspect this role (and it’s hopeful success) will launch him into a bigger leading-man status in Hollywood, so now we won’t have to see Russell Crowe and his enormous ego sucking up all the good roles.
So yeah, go see it. And go see it on a Tuesday in Woburn. We discovered much to our joy that Tuesday’s are now “Bargain Tuesdays”, which means a 7:30 show for only $5! WOOHOO!