By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn September 10, 2008 at 4:33AM
You don't have to like Kevin Smith's films to enjoy his presence. I actually like both -- most of the time. Like Smith himself, I'm no fan of Jersey Girl, and remain at best ambivalent about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and even Mallrats, although the latter has a few moments of cogent hilarity. Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a mixed bag of Smithian vulgarities, lewd recontextualizing of pop culture, and softcore nudity. The hardcore Smith fans will like it; those, like me, who yearn for more from the Chasing Amy bag of subtle love triangle tricks, will feel less than satisfied. I am rather intrigued, however, by the ordeal Smith went through to avoid getting the film an NC-17 rating; I attended a press junket in Toronto on Sunday, where he explained the whole story. Here's a highlight:
They were like, "That shit shot's never gonna play." I was like, "That shit shot's not going anywhere. I'll fight for it." They said, "Maybe you should bring the sound down and it won't seem as bad as it looks." I said, "I doubt it." But I took six seconds of thrusting out and lowered the sound. They said, "You're so close, but there's still a little more work to do." At that point, I was like, "Not for nothing, but I'd just like to move to the appeals process."