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Kevin Smith: Jersey Girl sucked

Kevin_smithI’ve been a Kevin Smith fan ever since I interviewed him in 1994 at the Toronto Film Festival for Clerks (and asked him what I hope is the rudest question anyone has ever asked him. Not that I’m eager to hold that record, mind you, but it was really rude.)

I can’t say that I’ve always liked all of his films, but he is one of the standard bearers for American cinema of the 1990s and I’ve followed his career with interest. Knowing how much effort and ambition Smith had put into his oft-delayed Jersey Girl, a change of pace from the cruder style of comedy he’s known for, I felt bad giving it a poor review when it was released. About the nicest things I called it were “awfully slight” and “blandly inoffensive.”

So imagine how much better I felt when Smith appeared on NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” this week and ‘fessed up.

Asked by host Peter Segal about the tabloid frenzy surrounding Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, who fell in love while filming Jersey Girl, Smith replied, “By the time the movie came out, people were like, we’re so sick of these two. (And) it didn’t help that the movie sucked … “

Refining his answer, Smith continued,

I love the movie, but I’ve read enough criticism to understand what people didn’t dig about it. Making movies, if you write and direct them you you gotta love em all, they’re like your kids, and Jersey Girl is kinda like the really slow kid. We call that movie “special.”

As for that rude question, I will only say that in Clerks Randal assures Dante that every man in the world has tried to do a certain thing at least once. So I asked Smith if he had ever tried to do that thing. Seemed only fair, right? OK, it wasn’t my proudest journalistic moment.

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