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Reality Blows: The Best and Worst of Gen-X Flicks (#2)

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

In my newest post about the movies of Generation-X, I chose to write a little bit about one of the funnies comedies of the 1990s, Clerks.

The movie is kinda brilliant.

Clerks (1994)


One of the problems with many films made about young people in the ‘90s is that screenwriters tried so hard to make their characters hip.  Think about Reality Bites, a movie that sank under the weight of forced injection of pop culture references into every scene and the characters’ boring, drawn-out examinations of their lives.

And then consider Clerks, a welcome reaction to phony movies like Reality Bites.  With its biting dialogue and true-to-life feel, you might actually want to spend a few hours discussing girls and Star Wars trivia with Clerks’ characters.

Kevin Smith’s first picture, shot in black-and-white on a $28,000 budget, looks at Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), two slackers who work in adjoining retail stores in Jersey.  Dante mans the register in a QuikStop market, while Randall runs a failing video store right next door.  Stuck in dead-end jobs, the college dropouts spend their days discussing Return of the Jedi, stupid customers and fetish pornography with the same fervor as PhD candidates discussing their research.

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