Any director worth a damn has faced it: Flop Grief, that five-stage process that varies by studio and box-office disappointment but never gets any easier. Especially if you're Kevin Smith.
Last we heard from Smith, he had just dug out of a pot binge a month or so after Zack and Miri Make a Porno had crashed upon lift-off. The denial, anger and bargaining phases had all seemed to mostly wear off by then, smoothly transitioning into the depression that comes from knowing your mass-market adult comedy — starring one of America's hottest young actors — bombed in every conceivable (and foreseeable) sense.
But! Acceptance is right around the corner with the DVD release. Except when it's not, as in Smith's new interview with the Toronto Sun, during which he relapsed all the way back to last fall's Harvey-bashing tendencies:
Why didn't audiences embrace it?
"I think they would have if they had ever known the movie was out," Smith [said]. "The big problem with Zack and Miri was that their awareness was always really screwed up."
Smith says The Weinstein Company misfired in its marketing campaign in the U.S., especially when it got bogged down in ratings and title controversies. In contrast, the Weinsteins routinely triumph with costume dramas and serious material such as the Oscar-nominated The Reader, Smith says.
"Unfortunately, this was a studio comedy and needed to be sold like that."
We're not so sure, Kevin. Harvey isn't the one crawling out of a "weed cocoon" during awards season. Maybe you should have trusted him when he tried to change Porno to Holocaust Epic. Really, does know his stuff.