Clerks (1994)

clerks

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A madcap day in the life of a convenient store clerk is the film that launched the career of a New Jersey filmmaker named Kevin Smith.

It was supposed to be Dante Hicks’ day off. At 6am, he gets a call from the store manager asking Dante to take the morning shift. Dante is not happy but agrees on the condition that the manager comes in at 12 to cover. From the moment he arrives at the store, Dante knows he is in for a bad day. His only saving graces are his girlfriend Veronica and his friend Randal, who works at the video store next door. However, some shocking news involving his longtime ex-girlfriend Caitlin puts him in a downward spiral he never imagined. To make matters worse, when Caitlin arrives, Dante knows his day is about to go from bad to worse.

Kevin Smith is one of the top comic filmmakers today who brings his own style of comedy and it all began with this black and white comedy that all is set within a day of the lives of Dante and Randal, two store clerks who spend the day talking about well, random things but with a raunchy look at certain topics. Well, that’s Randal for you. As for Dante, he constantly complains about how he isn’t supposed to even be working that day and on two occasions, leaves the store. Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson are just perfect for each other in the roles of the two titular clerks.

Marilyn Ghigliotti plays Dante’s girlfriend Veronica, who loves Dante and goes as far as bringing him food and while she brings up a secret that ticks off Dante, all is eventually forgiven. She is also part of a love triangle as Dante still has feelings for ex Caitlin, played by Lisa Spoonauer, who was engaged to be married to an Asian design major. Many supporting cast members, who are friends with Smith, play multiple roles in the film.

However, when it comes to support, enter the iconic team of Jay and Silent Bob, played by Jason Mewes and the director himself. The drug-dealing, comedic duo provide their trademark styles of Jay being the more mouthy of the two while Silent Bob is just that, silent, until he becomes a sage with his one-liner. The two would become the force behind Smith’s films, known in some fan circles as the New Jersey series, that would eventually include Mallrats in 1995, Chasing Amy in 1997, Dogma in 1999, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in 2001, and it is safe to say there is plenty more to come.

Clerks is the film that started it all, a fun look at a day in the life of two guys who simply hate their jobs, but have nothing else to back up on. The film would spawn a sequel in 2006 with O’Halloran, Anderson, Mewes, and Smith returning for more hijinks.

WFG RATING: A

Miramax Films present a View Askew production. Director: Kevin Smith. Producers: Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. Writer: Kevin Smith. Cinematography: David Klein. Editing: Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith.

Cast: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Lisa Spoonauer, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Walt Flanagan, Scott Mosier, Scott Schiaffo, Ed Hapstak.

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