A Love Letter to Red State

I went to Kevin Smith’s Red State tour last night because I love him. I hadn’t seen any previews and I was only vaguely aware that the movie was about religion, but I’ve watched An Evening with Kevin Smith a billion times and I wasn’t missing the chance to see someone who (and maybe this sounds stupid, but it’s true) has had such an immense effect on who I am. John Hughes gave me my unrealistic expectations about teenage romance and masturbatory material in the form of Jake Ryan, George Lucas gave me my first introduction into being the huge nerd that I am and masturbatory material in the form of Han Solo, but Kevin Smith can be credited for my sense of humor. My dad and I watched Clerks when I was 11, and even though it was a leetle awkward to hear “37 DICKS?” with him sitting right there, that movie actually gave us something to bond over when I was an asshole teenager. My mom doesn’t share our sense of humor at ALL, so it was just…ours.

Clerks was the start, but I’ve seen every Kevin Smith movie (except Jersey Girl) and loved them all and laughed at them all and scoffed at people who haven’t. “How do you feel about Kevin Smith?” is one of those questions that I’ve used many times to determine if someone is even date-able. I feel like, at this point, if you don’t know Kevin Smith, I can’t make you understand. Sorry boners, you’ve had 15 years to figure it out. Also, my friend Meghan is a genius for many reasons, but last night we were talking and she said, “Kevin Smith defines a generation and the generation he defines doesn’t always “get it” until they are older. Its like watching a Looney Tunes cartoon when you’re 25…’So THATS what they meant?!’” That.

Now to the love letter part. Red State isn’t out until October, but if you don’t see it then, we can’t be friends. I’m not kidding about this. I’m not even going to tell you what it’s about or what happens really other than to say that it features a family based on the Phelps’; last night during the Q&A, he said he meant the movie to be unsettling, and it was because everything that happened was unexpected. Honestly, I would say try not to watch any previews, don’t read anything about it (except this, duh), just go and let it do what it’s meant to do. I’m not sure if I was supposed to be, but I spent a pretty big chunk of the movie crying, even when other people were cheering. Calling this movie a horror film seems a little odd, but I’ve never been particularly scared by zombies or vampires or whatever we’re “supposed” to be afraid of. Humanity is fucked up enough that there’s plenty to be scared by in the world around us and, considering that I literally haven’t stopped thinking about this movie since it ended, it was horror in my book. I woke up several times last night with scenes running through my head and the thought that “these people weren’t always this way, they were born human, how do people go so wrong?!”

I wish I were a writer because I don’t have the right words to explain how I felt at the end, just…if I felt like it was important enough to interrupt my very busy not-blogging schedule to tell you to see it, please trust that. There are no good guys, any humor is extremely dark, and there is a lot to make you afraid, and it is the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.