© 2000 Fontaine L.
Hmmm. I wonder what Kevin Smith was thinking with this insipid "follow-up" to "Clerks." I can only wish that it had been a sequel, because then at least it'd have interesting characters and interesting situations. Although "Mallrats" deals with similar subject matter- shiftless guys trying to get back together with their girlfriends--it has lost the attitude and grittiness of "Clerks." Instead, we get heart-to-heart Dawsons-Creek-ish conversations, with oh-so-touching dialogue such as (paraphrasing here): "I would give it all back just to spend one more day with her," "You have something that belongs to me: my heart," etc. Gone was the aimless yet palpably real existence of Dante and Randel. Instead, here everything again needs to be wrapped up in a neat (Hollywood) package. Both guys get their girls back . . . in a manner that is completely predictable and unsatisfying.
There were things I enjoyed about this movie. I liked the character who couldn't see the sailboat because I understand his frustration. Jay and Silent Bob were, of course, excellent sources of laughter. Less could be said about the other characters. I really didn't care if T.S. and his girlfriend got back together because, yeah, he did act like an asshole. Same thing can be said for Brody and Renee. Unlike fellow slacker Dante, these two offered nothing but smart-aleck comments, toilet humor, and declarations that sound utterly insincere. The acting was patchy at best from all parties. And I can only tolerate an endless 90's rock soundtrack for so long. Perhaps Kevin Smith was simply aiming at showing modern depravity at its best. Well in that respect, he succeeded. But he couldn't offer the same unadorned honesty he did in "Clerks."
Rating: C- (First viewing, 8/27/00)