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Thank You for Smoking Abstract

By wlee598 Mar 08, 2013 639 Words
Will Lee
Abstract #3
Thank You For Smoking. Dir. Jason Reitman.  Perfs.  Aaron Eckhart, Katie Holmes.           Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2006. Film.
              Thank You for Smoking was a film about a tobacco lobbyist named Nick Naylor.  Throughout the movie Nick explains to his son, Joey, that his job is to be right.  He also explains that, when you argue properly, you’ll never be wrong.  Near the beginning of the movie he pitches an idea to have movie stars boost tobacco sales by smoking cigarettes in movies.  When he meets with a big time Hollywood producer, they formulate a plan to simultaneously release a new cigarette with a new movie involving super hot smoking space sex.  About midway through the movie, Nick enters a wild sexual relationship with a reporter, played by Katie Holmes, and confides in her, but is later betrayed when she reveals damaging information about his corporation and the corporations of his two lobbyist friends.  After being fired from his job, he still testifies on behalf of the cigarette companies and combats a Vermont Senator who is greatly opposed to smoking.  After he successfully argues in court, he denies an offer to return to his former occupation, and he gets a new job.               I believe that the thesis to this movie was delivered in the middle.  It is the scene in Hollywood when Nick and his son are on the boardwalk, and Nick explains to Joey that to be successful at arguing, you only need to convince everyone else that the opposing arguer is wrong.  This, to me, is the point that is to be made by this movie.  This scene not only represents the thesis, but also a great logical appeal, because it shows that this method of argument has been successfully used in real situations, and has convinced many people.  The movie shows just how easy it is to get people on your side, even if you go into a situation where the vast majority of the population disagrees with you.  For example, when Nick is debating with the Vermont senator in court, he compares the interest of the tobacco companies influencing the agenda of the Academy of Tobacco Research to the special interests of the founders of his political campaign.  When he makes this comparison it immediately deflects the attack and returns it right to the senator.  This is the way that this movie affects me emotionally.  It makes me angry to think about being tricked by fast talking politicians, lobbyists, etc.  When Nick was betrayed by the female reporter, his life seems like it is in ruins.  This is the part of the movie that appealed to my sense of ethics because betrayal is a strong offense, and I’m sure everyone who watches this movie probably feels at least a slight disgust toward that character at that moment in the movie.  The offered solution in this movie is offered before the thesis.  It is when Nick attends career day at his son’s school, and he tells the kids to not just do what people tell you to do.  He tells the kids to ask questions, and he tells them to find out what is right and wrong on their own.                I loved this movie.  I thought it was very interesting because it made me think about how many administrative people in this world can use the power of persuasion to make us believe anything they want us to believe.  I believe that it was well argued also because they used a real world hot button (cigarettes).  Using a cigarette lobbyist was a bombshell idea because people unanimously oppose smoking due to the negative impact on our health, and by showing us how a person can successfully defend one of the most disliked things in society today was a winning combination.

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