Every Friday we feature a movie someone on our staff has chosen as their favorite Miramax film. Consider watching one of the staff picks over the weekend to even out your summer blockbuster fill and maintain the balance and order of the Universe. Today’s pick is Clerks from our Acquisitions Intern, Carolyn LaHorgue. Can you believe it’s been 20 years since Kevin Smith made this gem? Watch the trailer!
Clerks shows us a day in the life of two incompetent store clerks who begrudgingly deal with their customers. It’s relatable to just about everyone, weaving the worst and weirdest aspects of service jobs into 92 minutes of pure absurdity.
From the grungy directing style to the underachieving characters, it almost seems as if Smith wants us to underestimate the story. But don’t let the mundane setting fool you, this film is full of smart writing, insightful dialogue and even title cards that sport the widest variety of SAT words you’ll ever see in a film. Even Randal’s discussion on the morality of the Death Star attack in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi reveals a deeper level of philosophical reckoning than any audience would expect. In the end we are forced to reject our assumptions about these seemingly meaningless jobs and appreciate that they are willing to deal with us customers at all.
Ultimately, the strength of Clerks lies in the small characters that make a big impact. Most notably, this movie brought us the notorious Jay and Silent Bob (played by Kevin Smith) who are essentially the Penn and Teller of drug dealing and loitering. Along with a cast of crazies like a guidance counselor looking for a perfect dozen eggs and a gum salesman carrying a human lung, Smith reminds us of the undeniable comedy of people watching.
This scene has always been my favorite. It shows such a strangely immense effort of analysis on the part of Randal, but also feels so relatable as the kind of nonsensical conversations you can only have with a friend amidst true boredom.
This clip showcases the mix of the absurdity of the customers mixed with Dante and Randal’s deadpan comedic banter. The combination proves to be a hilarious one and we realize that even the most normal seeming customers have shocking quirks.
Dante’s helplessness is so tangible in this clip, we can’t help but laugh at his misery. Veronica also proves herself to be the badass voice of reason – probably the only one in the entire film (other than Silent Bob of course).
If you missed it, Jason Mewes aka JAY, turned 40 yesterday. Read his interview with the LAist, here.