Before I get into this review let’s just have a little warning. If you’re familiar with Kevin Smith you probably know what you’re getting into. If you’re not familiar with Kevin Smith… the dedication of this book mentions his ‘wife’s brown eye’. There’s a lot of Smith’s general brand of ‘dick and fart’ humor and more than a little discussion of how hot his wife is and how lucky he is to have sex with her. So, business as usual for Kevin Smith.
I picked this one up because Smith is a bit of a controversial figure who tends to say what he thinks so I was looking for some interesting gossip, and I wasn’t disappointed. He shares a lot of interesting behind the scenes info on his fight with the MPAA ratings board for his movie ‘Zack and Miri Shoot a Porno’ and he takes Bruce Willis to task for some problems during ‘Cop Out’. He also has a lot to say about his most recent movie ‘Red State’ and his efforts to keep it truly independent of the Hollywood studio system.
Smith likes to portray himself as a fat, lazy stoner who fell into a lot of good fortune. I view that a lot like I view Tina Fey’s portrayal of herself as an awkward, funny looking schlub. Maybe it was true at one time, but it sure isn’t true now. I’m not going to address the hot potato ‘fat’ portion of his usual schtick, but it’s pretty obvious he isn’t simply lazy. Even his own story about how he hit big with ‘Clerks’, his first film, shows that a fair amount of work went into getting it bought by Miramax pictures. A lot of Smith’s success has come from his active engagement with his fans by way of his website and prolific speaking tours. So maybe he is lazy, but he’s a lazy guy that works for what he wants.
Like I said above, I read the book for the gossip and because I respect Smith for saying what he really thinks. But I ended up finding some actual good life advice as well. Smith’s core point seems to boil down to that doing something is better than doing nothing. If you have a dream of doing something then work on it. Dreams are fun but they don’t happen unless you try. The book subtitle (Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good) is probably a bit of false modesty but also has a fair amount of truth. When he started, Smith had no idea how to make a movie, much less get people to watch it, but he persevered and learned as he went along.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s a fan of Kevin Smith, or who is okay with some serious raunchy humor. It’s got some interesting behind the scenes info and motivation for anyone not happy with their current life situation. But if you don’t like bathroom humor and sex talk I’d stay away.