Thank You for Smoking

I learned in 1982, when I saw and read The World According to Garp, that, as a rule, if I saw the movie before I read the book, I liked them both but if I reversed the order, I was invariably disappointed by the movie.

So far the only exception that comes to mind isBrokeback Mountain but that was a short story. The key seems to be that whichever version has more detail should be experienced after that which has less detail.

The rule certainly held true with Thank You for Smoking. After reading the book, the movie was quite disappointing in its omissions. Rather than enjoying the movie for itself, I was left puzzling over the process of deciding what to include and what to omit.

That being said, in an effort to focus solely on the movie, let me point out that it was nominated for 15 awards, including two Golden Globes, and that it won six of those 15 (altho neither of the GG’s). For those who place stock in such awards, this is an indication that while the movie suffers in comparison to the novel, when considered on its own, it merits a viewing.

The plot outline from IMDB:

Tobacco industry lobbyist Nick Naylor has a seemingly impossible task: promoting cigarette smoking in a time when the health hazards of the activity have become too plain to ignore. Nick, however, revels in his job, using argument and twisted logic to place, as often as not, his clients in the positions of either altruistic do-gooders or victims. Nick’s son Joey needs to understand and respect his dad’s philosophy, and Nick works hard to respond to that need without compromising his lack of values. When a beautiful news reporter betrays Nick’s sexually-achieved trust, his world seems in danger of collapsing. But there’s always one more coffin nail in Nick’s pack. Written byJim Beaver {jumblejim@prodigy.net}

By Bridget