Clerks (1994)

Written and directed by Kevin Smith
(number 369)

The first time I watched this movie it was when I was 18 and at a sleepover. It was something like 3am and a bunch of us watched it, thinking it was so edgy and interesting and arty. I was annoyed I didn’t know what all the chapter title words meant. I remember watching it again when I was around 24ish, and feeling so smart that I now did know what all those words meant and understanding more of the sex content of the film and generally what was happening.

Then I watched it again in my thirties and I saw how poorly acted it is. How very much this is just Kevin’s Smith’s friends reciting lines we wrote, they aren’t so much having conversations as listening for the end of the other person’s lines and then saying theirs. It’s a subtle distinction to be sure, but once you notice…

Watching it again now it’s a mish mash of slut shaming, over the top vocabulary, whiny people, liberal use of swear words and slurs and generally infantile humour. Yeah, either this movie hasn’t aged well or I’ve aged past it.

Does it make me love the people? No, I can’t say it does. Having said that, I know I loved them when I was a student, when I was dealing with my own knowledge of my cleverness and the unfairness of the world for not just instantly giving me whatever I wanted just because I was so clever.

Bechdel test: No. Veronica is the most featured woman, followed by Caitlin, both of them only speak to men.

Best line:

Jay: I dunno dude, that Caitlin chick’s nice, but I’ve seen that Veronica girl doing shit for you all the time. I saw her rubbing your back, fucking comes and brings you food. Didn’t I see her change your tire once?
Dante Hicks: Hey-hey, you know, I jacked up the car, all she did was unloosen the nuts and put the tire on.
Jay: I dunno, she does a lot for you.
Dante Hicks: She’s my girlfriend.
Jay: I had some girlfriends too, but all they wanted from me is weed and shit. Shit my grandmother used to say ‘What’s better, fuckin’, a good plate with nothin’ on it… ‘ no wait I fucked up. ‘What’s a good plate with nothing on it?’

Jay: there’s a million fine looking women in the world and most of them don’t bring you lasagne. Most of them just cheat on you and shit.

State of Mind: Mehhhh, I’m so not into this film any more. I just… urgh. To me this is a snapshot of a life I no longer care about or connect to. Also there’s the whole thing where this is probably awesome watching high, but that’s not my scene. Kevin Smith definitely found that niche market and is happy there, and this movie found him that audience.

Watched movie count

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