An Evening With Kevin Smith Movie Review

Some people think he helped make independent movies relevant again. Others firmly believe that mentioning his name among the likes of Tarantino, Linklater, and Soderbergh is akin to sacrilege. Don't even ask those same people about his writing skills, which at times can make an Aaron Sorkin project look like a mime show.

Love him or hate him, Kevin Smith (writer/director of Clerks and Chasing Amy) is a terribly engaging guy and an unpretentious storyteller, qualities that are affirmed in An Evening With Kevin Smith, a two DVD set featuring highlights Smith's Q&A sessions at several colleges. Then again, what kind of attitude what you expect a guy who dresses like he's about to mow your lawn?

Like Smith's movies, there's nothing flashy about this Evening. It resembles a far longer, much less snooty version of Inside the Actors Studio. Wide-eyed college students (one of whom resembles Smith's famous character, Silent Bob) ask questions, and Smith provides thorough and frequently entertaining answers.

It's easy to understand why Smith has such a strong rapport with young adults. Steeped in pop culture, he's a writer who relishes long, articulate passages coming from characters struggling with adulthood but getting by with attitude and Star Wars references. And his deliberate lack of style, both in public and in his films, gives him regular guy appeal. Not only is it cool to like his films, you won't feel like an art house snob.

Of course, Smith's blunt viewpoint means that he has little tolerance for celebrity blowhards. The best parts of this gabfest come in Smith detailing his confrontations with spider-friendly Superman (then Superman Lives) producer Jon Peters and Prince. To his chagrin, Smith discovers while making a documentary about the petite rocker that he has been living in "Prince World" for quite some time. Smith's candor also works in his favor, when describing his courtship and first sexual encounter with then USA Today reporter and future wife Jennifer Smith.

The only problem with the material is that it caters to such a limited audience. If you're a fan of Smith's movies or from central New Jersey (where Smith gets more press than John Sayles), you're in great shape. You'll hear stories about Jason Mewes, discover the impetus behind Chasing Amy and bear witness to lots of tomfoolery. But if you crave insights on moviemaking or the creative process, there isn't a lot to be found. Smith tells anecdotes, which he's great at, but he offers very little detail on the director's life.

In all honesty, there really isn't a pressing need for Kevin Smith's educational antics to be preserved on DVD. We can all think of directors who are more deserving for face time, but would they be half as engaging? I just hope Smith doesn't warp into a multi-media whore, between his comic book writing, love of the press, acting appearances and directing/writing duties. I'd hate to see him wear out his welcome before he's 35, but as this DVD indicates, I think he's having too much fun to notice. Or even care.

Cast & Crew

Director : J.M. Kenny

Producer : J.M. Kenny


An Evening With Kevin Smith Rating

" Good "

Rating: NR, 2002


More Kevin Smith

21 Years: Richard Linklater Trailer

Indie filmmaking is one of the best niches to find super-talented directors and writers; and none more so than Richard Linklater. Having recently received a...

21 Years: Richard Linklater Trailer

Richard Linklater is well known in the film industry as one of the stand out names in indie movie making. Responsible for a wide variety...

Justin Long's Agent Tried To Warn Him Off Kevin Smith's 'Tusk'

The idea for Kevin Smith's new horror movie Tusk starring Justin Long was born from a podcast and most critics agree that it should have...

Everything You Need To Know About Kevin Smith's And Johnny Depp's Film Yoga Hosers

After a run of poorly received films that have dented Johnny Depp’s reputation as a box-office magnet, the Hollywood superstar must be keen to move...


Kevin Smith And Johnny Depp Working With Their Own Daughters In Upcoming Film

Kevin Smith is in the process of directing the second film in his new trilogy set in rural Canada. The film is a loose sequel...

Upcoming Kevin Smith Movie "Yoga Hosers" Looks Cool. And Very, Very Weird.

So Kevin Smith is collaborating with Johnny Depp on a movie. Beware, this could get very, very weird. So, Yoga Hosers. According to The Hollywood...

A Week In Movies: Get On Up Premieres, Cooper Cooks In London, Trailers For Tusk, Mockingjay, The Hobbit And Mad Max

The stars came out for the New York premiere this week of Get on Up, starring Chadwick Boseman as Godfather of Soul James Brown. He...

Tusk is The Latest Brilliant Idea From The Brain of Kevin Smith [Trailer + Poster]

The new trailer for ‘Tusk’ has arrived, and Kevin Smith’s goofy yet terrifying horror movie bears all the hallmarks of a director in tune with...