Thank you for Thank you for Smoking
By gum they did it — they actually made a funny movie about politics. Thank You For Smoking stars Aaron Eckhart as a tobacco lobbyist, who's so ballsy and charming you have to love him, even while you know he's entirely evil. He's what Ari Gold and Rush Limbaugh think they are — but neither holds a lighter to Eckhart's Nick Naylor.
It's an incredible balancing act between charm and evil, and without its perfect execution the movie wouldn't work at all. But Eckhart nails it, and the movie flies, with hysterical small parts played by Rob Lowe, Robert Duvall, Maria Bello, William H. Macy, Sam Elliott, Adam Brody and David Koechner. Director Jason Reitman even manages to a make two scenes with cancer victims funny. We're sure a lot is owed to the book, written by Christopher Buckley, but the movie doesn't feel bookish at all; it's got interesting cinematography and smart editing. Did we say we liked it? We liked it a lot.
LA spotting: Nick Naylor and his MOD Squad (Merchants of Death: alcohol, tobacco, and firearms lobbyists) meet in an old-school pub.... in Koreatown. Oh, we know it's standing in for a bastion of power in Washington, but there's no mistaking The Prince. We almost hate to mention its flocked-wallpaper, serpentine-bar goodness, but the cat's been out of the bag since Vaughinston were spotted there late last year. The Prince was our favorite cameo of all.