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Clerks (1994)

December 19, 2009

2/10 Jersey D-Bags

One of the most overrated movies of the ’90s.

Clerks is about a convenience store clerk in New Jersey who gets roped into working a day-long shift when he’s not even supposed to be there. He’s pissed off, he’s having issues with his girlfriend, potheads who hang out by the store harass him all day, yada yada yada, and that’s about it.

I know this is the “Generation X” poster child of sorts – right up there with Reality Bites (not bad) – and I’m aware that I might be blaspheming on some pretty sacred turf for some of you out there, but, man, this movie sucks. Look, I’ve tried to like this thing. I’ve gone ahead and watched this a good three times in the hopes that I might achieve a moment of clarity where everything finally clicks and I wonder to myself in a haze of delight, “You finally get it, Aiden. You finally get Clerks.

But nope. Still don’t get it.

Here’s a short list summing up why:

– Necrophilia – still not funny.

– A cast of total asshole characters that I couldn’t give a shit about.

– Swearing for the sake of swearing – as annoying as it is in real life.

– It’s just not funny. Gross, definitely. Funny, definitely not.

Maybe it’s me, but I didn’t laugh once during this movie, I don’t think I even smiled, not even at the conversation about whether or not the Death Star carpenters were innocent victims. And there’s nothing wrong with sex jokes every now and again, but it stops being funny when it tries to push the envelope by testing your gag reflex every. single. time. It’s not stuff you can relate to and go “Oh yeah, I totally get that!”, it’s just nasty, like a whole conversation about “snowballing” (Google that at your own discretion). There’s a fine line between edgy and bad taste, and I’m not seeing a whole lot of edgy here.

Nonetheless, I still think Kevin Smith’s pretty solid. Yeah, this one blew, but I’ll happily stand by Dogma and Chasing Amy any day. The guy can write, the guy can be funny, the guy can be edgy, I just don’t know what the hell happened here.

Clerks gets two points for introducing the world to Jay and Silent Bob and that’s about it. Also thought the “Beserker” song was alright. Other than that, it wasn’t my thing. Pretty sure I’m in the minority on this one, but like I said, I tried.

God help me, I tried.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2009 1:22 pm

    God, I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you man, but trust me this is a better film than you gave it.

  2. December 19, 2009 2:32 pm

    I identified with the shitty customers aspect of the film, but I agree with some of your review(snowballing was too much).

  3. Branden permalink
    December 19, 2009 4:08 pm

    You have to admit that this was Kevin Smith’s debut film. It could rough around the edges. When I reviewed the film, I didn’t love it. I guess, it was something that you have to see for film geek cred.

    The movie is okay. Every Kevin Smith film is going to have a fucked up sexual act discussed in it. It comes with the territory.

  4. December 21, 2009 6:58 am

    not as overrated as Dogma

  5. March 14, 2010 2:26 pm

    While I like Clerks. I do agree with you that is its overrated. It’s a bit too dry and rough for my tastes, and I did laugh a lot, plus I’m very extreme in my own sexual joke telling so all the sex talk never bothered me. 🙂

  6. Steve permalink
    July 22, 2015 3:34 pm

    I agree completely. Nothing happens in Clerks at all. Now call me picky but when I watch a movie it’s always nice if something happens. If I wanted to see what it’s like to hang out at a convenience store, I’d hang out at a convenience store. There was a reason nobody ever wrote a script like that before . That reason is that society and film makers had a standard of decency and weren’t scummy and vile and relying on the lowest common denominator.

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