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Let's get one thing straight. Kevin Smith is God. Well, at the very least, he's MY god. I love this man. I want to write like him. I want to stand around in the background of a movie, not say a damn thing, and still manage to be funnier than every other person in the room just like him. I want Ben Affleck's home phone number, just like Kevin Smith. 

Suffice it to say, I loved Dogma. Now, I probably would have loved it even if I thought Kevin Smith were evil and deserved to die at the paws of some cute and fluffy bunnies with rabies. But this movie called out to the same part of me that still laughs like a maniacal dictator every time I hear the phrase, "What's a Nubian?" (Watch Chasing Amy, and you'll understand.) 

Dogma has been getting a lot of flack for being anti-God, mostly because it's about two fallen angels (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who are darn good casting to play angels) who find a loophole in Catholic dogma (there's only one?) If they can prove God fallible, the angels get a one-way ticket back to heaven. Of course, if they prove God fallible, all existence comes to an end.  

The only people who can stop Damon and Affleck are an abortion clinic doctor descended from Christ's family (Linda Fiorentino), the 13th Apostle (Chris Rock), a pair of unlikely prophets, Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, the most underrated comic team in Hollywood), and a former muse-turned-stipper (Salma Hayek). 

There's not much more to the plot. But let's face it, Kevin Smith fans who know the whole "I love you" speech from Chasing Amy and can recite the entirety of the Star Wars contractors-on-the-Death-Star argument from Clerks will make up the majority of Dogma's audience, and hey, we're looking for dialogue.  

Screw plot, forget the characters. People like me want to hear Ben Affleck telling off an entire room of business executives right before Matt Damon blows them all away. We want to hear Jay say "snoochie boochies." We want to hear Alan Rickman say ANYTHING Kevin Smith wrote. (Hey, some of us just like hearing Alan Rickman speak. WHAT he says is a bonus.) 

And as for all those ridiculous protesters? Please. I'm a lapsed Catholic, and every reason that made me lapse, Kevin Smith put to snappy dialogue. Anti-God? Not a chance. Anti-religion? Oh yeah, big time. But I can't be the only one who looks at a church and sees a big pile of hypocrisy these days.  

And if I'm going to hear what I think about religion put onto celluloid, and if Ben Affleck, Alan Rickman, and Matt Damon HAVE to be the ones I'm going to hear it from… sigh… so be it. I'll just have to suffer. (But next time, can I suffer with David Boreanaz and Freddie Prinze, Jr.? Come on, people, I don't ask for much here.) 

Jennifer Matarese

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