The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. The US General Miller doesn't think so and neither does the British Secretary of State ... See full summary »
Dante Hicks is a clerk at a local convenience store in New Jersey. On one particular Saturday morning, he gets called in on his day off. Once there, he must deal with multiple problems. The shutters outside won't open. His ex-girlfriend, whom he is still in love with, is getting married. His girlfriend, who bugs him about starting college, has revealed certain, uh...stuff about her past. His boss hasn't come in to take his place. He has a hockey game at 2 o'clock. Another ex has died, and today's the last day he can go to her wake. He must deal with customers that aren't so intelligent. His friend, Randal, a clerk at the video store next door, is even less dedicated to his job than Dante, and is always bothering Dante's customers. And the biggest problem of them all: HE'S NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE THERE TODAY!! Can Dante manage it all? Written by
Despite having almost no violence in the film (with the exception of the fight between Dante and Randal), it was originally given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA based solely on its graphic dialogue. The film's distributor Miramax hired attorney Alan M. Dershowitz (of the O.J. Simpson defense team) who successfully petitioned the MPAA to lower its rating to R without any cuts. See more »
Clerks is one of those movies everyone knows everything about even before they've seen it. The most fascinating aspect is probably the back-story: Kevin Smith sold his comic-book collection to finance it, shot it in the convenience store where he was working at the time, and cast his school friends in the various roles (two of them wound up playing three or four characters each). The film became a huge hit at Sundance, and is now widely (and justly) considered one of the best independent movies of all time.
The plot is quite easy to sum up: nothing happens. It's just a "regular" day in the lives of a few people working in or outside a Quick Stop convenience store. The fun starts immediately, as Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is asked to replace a sick colleague. This upsets him a lot, since it's supposed to be his day off ("You know what the worst part is? I'm not even supposed to BE here today!"). So now he has to serve a bunch of rather annoying or excessively weird people, with occasional help from his friend Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), who "works" in the video store next to Quick Stop. Together, they discuss things like hermaphroditic porn or, Tarantino-style, which Star Wars sequel is better (Jedi or Empire?), and also try to find ways of not working, or at least make the day less boring (as Randal puts it:"This job would be great if it wasn't for the f**king customers"). Between these discussions, they also interact with Dante's present girlfriend Veronica (whose sex life causes heated debates) and ex Caitlin, who's apparently engaged to some Asian design major. And let's not forget Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith himself), two drug dealers consistently located outside the store.
Smith uses these characters to reference his favorite movies (the previously mentioned Star Wars, as well as Jaws and Indiana Jones) and talk about any subject in the filthiest way imaginable. Some incredibly outrageous stuff is mentioned ("jizz moppers", necrophilia, "snowballing"), but unlike John Waters, he never shows the events discussed by Dante, Randal et al. Everything occurs, or has occurred, off-screen, so all we get to do is have a good laugh, because no matter how crude it gets (the film is rated R for "Extensive Use Of Extremely Explicit Sex-Related Dialogue"), Smith's writing remains genuinely funny. Randal, in particular, steals every scene with his existential musings ("I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class. Especially since I rule.") or very politically incorrect antics (the top? Reading a list of pornographic flicks in front of a mother and her baby).
If you haven't seen it yet, do it, and fast: Clerks fully deserves its cult status. It has priceless dialogue, wisecracking characters and loads of swearing. What else can you ask for?
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