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BOOK
Silent Bob Speaks
The Collected Writings of Kevin Smith

Author: Kevin Smith
Titan Books
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 84576 080 8
Available 23 May 2005


In this bawdy, over-the-top rant-fest, award-winning screenwriter and director Kevin Smith waxes rhapsodic and obnoxious on everything from his platonic infatuation with Ben Affleck to his bloodcurdling hatred of "Greasy" Reese Witherspoon, from his shocking diagnosis of morbid obesity to the simple pleasures of that cradle of civilisation known as New Jersey. Silent Bob Speaks interweaves the best of his recent journalism with a new introduction by Smith and is guaranteed to make his legions of fans choke on their Cheerios...

Silent Bob Speaks is a collection of editorial columns Smith originally wrote for websites and UK mens magazines. The biggest problem I had with this book was Smith's insistence on pretending to be humble. And he's fooling no one. In one breath he'll be slagging off his own movies as rubbish, cheap and worthless (something that seems to be a common theme throughout this collection) and yet if anyone else should hold that opinion he comes down on them like a ton of bricks. Obviously he does not see his movies in that way, so why does he pretend that he does?

There are plenty of interesting tales within the pages of this book. There are also some really creepy ones too - more of those in a moment.

One of Smith's more interestings stories has him coughing up the money so that his wife can have a nude painting of herself. It actually sounds like the perfect present for that woman that you love - a legacy that Smith states will be passed on to generation after generation long after his films are forgotten. He describes it as his wife's more successful shot at immortality.

Probably the funniest, and most entertaining tale revolves around why Smith hates "Greasy" Reese Witherspoon so much. In fact, you'll probably come to feel the same way too when you hear how she snubbed his ex-girlfriend, and star of Chasing Amy, Joey Lauren Adams.

Also of interest are his tales of greasy stools (not the three legged kind) and a great interview with Tom Cruise.

There are creepy additions in here too. The best example being the wierdo that wrote to him to explain why they would be a better partner for Ben Affleck than his girlfriend Jennifer Lopez.

But I could have done without his Affleck love-in or his gushing love of the Daredevil movie. Sure, it's not a travesty of a film, in fact it has a lot going for it. It's just that you'd think it was Citizen Kane the way Smith talks about it. Mind you, Smith's column on this was written and published before the film was on general release.

There is also an article that Smith wrote for The Face - one that they wisely chose not to publish. It's crass, cheap and not very original (or funny). But of course he doesn't see this and instead launches into a verbal attack. If Smith can't take rejection he shouldn't freelance. He did indeed fail spectacularly to deliver what was asked of him and should not be surprised that The Face spiked it.

On balance, despite the fact most of the writings contained here is a little on the old side, this is an entertaining read and well worth parting with a tenner to flick through. Smith is witty and a damn good film maker - but he can be a hell of a creep when he wants to. Does the sun really shine out of Affleck's arse?

Nick Smithson

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