CATEGORIES CinematicalI'm sure everyone has heard about Kevin Smith's incident on Valentine's Day, when he was booted from a Southwest flight for being too fat for a single seat on the plane. There's been enough talk and complaint from him via Twitter, podcast and blog, so now it's time for him to do what writers do best by turning his misfortune into gold, through the magic of storytelling. That's right, he needs to make his next movie based on the ordeal. And he could title it...
The name is in reference to his breakthrough film Clerks. Just as Mike Judge recently jumped fence with a comedy for bosses (Extract) ten years after making a comedy for employees (Office Space), Smith should make a movie on the side of customers in response to his classic debut, which heroicized rude employees. Throughout his discussion of the Southwest incident, he has focused on how bad the airline's customer service has been. "Granted, I'm the guy who made Clerks," he admitted in his latest Smodcast, "but I was never that clerk."
We're about due for a new cinematic look at the airline industry and airports anyway, I think. Maybe not something so farcical as the Airplane films (the score for which features in the Smodcast), but something more critical that is centered on specific problems like policies on overweight passengers and common issues like add-on charges for luggage and minor comfort accommodations. Up in the Air recently shined some attention on modern day air travel, but it failed to recognize the concerns of the non-frequent flier.
Could he properly tackle such an ensemble film, which should seriously satirize airports in a way that combines the first Airport with Arthur Hiller's health care comedy The Hospital? Smith wasn't terrific at using a multi-character movie to satirize religion, but maybe if he gets on this project quick he can show a little more passion towards this more pressing, less controversial issue. Plus, I have faith that he's grown as a filmmaker (no pun intended?) in the decade since Dogma.