First Jason Reitman comes up with a cute, funny and wrong movie that defends the tobacco industry called Thank You For Smoking and gets away with it. After this feat he comes up with a cute, funny movie about teenage pregnancy called Juno and the movie wins an Oscar and makes over $100M in the box office. What next Jason? A cute and funny movie about the Iraq war?

Don´t get me wrong, I enjoyed both Thank you for smoking and Juno because the acting was excellent and the scripts were very well written. The problem in my case and that of millions of parents of teenagers is that not only I had to give my three kids the “but smoking is still bad” talk after Thank you for smoking but I had to give a tougher “don´t try this at home” talk with my girls 15 and 17 who thought Juno was such an appealing character. After struggling with the incorrect moral undertone of Jason´s subjects at this point I prefer movies who are easier to deal with as a parent. Films like Knocked Up for example in which people who do wrong things (mixing drugs and unprotected sex) just look the part making it hard for my kids to identify with (although admittedly leading to poorer results as a movie). Jason Reitman instead specializes in portraying the most appealing characters who unfortunately also do very wrong things like preaching the benefits of tobacco and getting pregnant after a night of casual sex at 16. In Thank you for smoking and Juno, Jason Reitman went way pass his father as a movie director of social subjects (dad did Kindergarden Cop) into a new political area, one that is valid but thorny, namely that of showing people we like who do things that we don´t believe in. By now I think Jason is developing his own genre of political movies: how to make the public fall in love with what they (mostly) think it´s wrong. In my case it worked in the sense that I am very much against the tobacco industry and against unwanted teen age pregnancies and yet… I found myself uncomfortably enjoying both movies. Recently another movie who was neither cute, nor funny but probably better than Jason Reitman´s films had the same effect on me and that is the German film “The Life of Others”. The Life of Others, a must see, is the story of a “good” torture expert if you can believe that such person can exist. And yet it´s effective because in the world of grown ups we do learn to see that most bad people have something good in them and viceversa. But in the age of black and white sometimes…black and white is good at least if you are watching the movie with your kids and feel obliged to say something. But considering that Jason Reitman is not a teacher, nor a preacher but a movie director who likes to reverse engineer our morals I have a recommendation to make to him. I think his next feature should be about Diablo Cody the Oscar winner script writer of Juno. I am ready to watch the cute and funny version of the story of a stripper who became a writer who won an Oscar.

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No Comments

jakolete on February 26, 2008  · 

Un poco de cara si que tienes, que te lo traduzcan los demás???

3.0 rating

Elliott on February 26, 2008  · 

“Thank You for Smoking” is a satire. Haven’t seen Juno yet.

3.0 rating

Marco H. on February 27, 2008  · 

I guess I haven´t read your english blog for a while, but I can realize there´s not too many comments for your entries. However I´d like to appreciate you to show us your life in a different way than just bussiness.

3.0 rating

Amicitia on March 4, 2008  · 


“The Life of Others” was a brilliant film, regardless of the fact it may arise questions such as the very sound one you pose “if you can believe that such person can exist”.
It is so hard to believe indeed, that people like that exist, but how to carry on living if we don’t believe that the miracle of mercy can take place among Human Kind? Though after seeing how certain events in the world develope, I confess at times it really does take a great amount of self discipline to keep on being such an idealist.

Can’t help mentioning another movie “The Namesake” (translated as “El buen nombre” for the Spanish market) by Mira Nair. First thing I find so touching about this movie is the title with its reference to the name.

Our names are many times the first impression the world have of us, when we say our name, we are saying part of our history, part of our ancestry, it is the most tangible legacy we have left because we live with it every day, the point being, our name says a lot about us, and the world, many times, goes from clasification passing through judgement to prejudice based solely in our name.

How does “Moby Dick” start? “Call me Ishmael”, naming the main character, well, enough of linguistic speculations for the time being.

The other subject why I liked the movie is because it deals with settling and growing up in a different culture from that of the ancestors.

The last main relevant issue of the picture that really, really impacted me….well, if you have seen the movie I am sure you will know what the deal is.

3.0 rating

Amicitia on March 5, 2008  · 

Ref: February 25, 2008


“The Life of Others” is one of the best films I have seen lately, though it arises the question you suggest “if you can believe that such person can exist”. It is hard to believe indeed that people like these exist, however I shall choose, in order to keep my own sanity to believe that the miracle of mercy can still take place among Human Kind.

Can’t help thinking of another movie, “The Namesake” (translated as “El buen nombre” for the Spanish market) The very first reason I was fond of this movie was the title, its reference to the name.

Our name echoes our history and ancestry, it is the heritage we show every single day in a very visible manner to the world, a world that will go through different stages: classify, pass judgement and even place prejudices according only on their perception of our name.
It goes without saying there are noble exceptions to the rule, truth be told.

Remember the first words in “Moby Dick”? “Call me Ishmael” The main character is settling the name businesses in the very first line of this great novel.

Enough of these metaphysical lingustic speculations.

The next remarkable aspect of this movie is that it deals with settling down and growing up in a different culture from that of your ancestry, subject very close to me.

Last, but not least, and in fact the aspect of the movie that touched me most deeply, well if you have seen it, I am sure you know what the deal is. In fact it is the issue that moved Mira Nair to do the movie (nothing beats watching movies in the movie theater, however a DVD has its perks, such as watching the “special features” that at times turn out to be even more fascinating than the movie itself)

Look forward to hear more uplifting movie reviews from you!!!

3.0 rating

Amicitia on March 5, 2008  · 

SORRY for taking so much room posting the same feed back twice, first time posting here, didn’t see the first one arriving and sent the second one thinking the first one never made it.
Look forward to reading more reviews from you!!!

3.0 rating

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