I have a confession. I had never seen the first Clerks movie in its entirety until I decided to write about it. I saw the sequel in its before the original so I was semi-familiar with the characters and their personalities. I’ve got to say, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would and honestly, that’s probably why I never watched it the whole way through before.
I’ve had some bad bosses, bad jobs and bad experiences at work, but after watching Clerks, I’m pretty thankful that my whole working experience was nothing like the day Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) had. The movie begins with him getting called first thing in the morning to come work at the Quick Stop on his day off. WHO DOES THAT?!
To make matters worse, once he gets to work, he discovers one of the gates locks have gum in them and now it won’t open. Dante ends up making a sign that says “I ASSURE YOU; WE’RE OPEN” out of what looks like a rag and shoe polish. The rest of his day is not going to be much better.
If you’ve ever worked retail or customer service, then you know… some customers can be a pain in the ass. One of Dante’s customers asks to drink the coffee he just bought inside, but really, he has a hidden agenda. He starts an anti-smoking rally against Dante in the store and it seems like it’s getting out of hand until Dante’s girlfriend, Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti), pulls out the fire extinguisher and saves him.
Maybe I’m missing the humor of the movie, but the fight that Veronica and Dante have over sexual history is the most ridiculous and non-enjoyable scene to watch in the movie. Granted, it was also probably the most realistic scenario of the whole movie, but seriously? Get on with your day, he’s a pig, you’re a hussy, we get it. MOVE ON.
From here, we meet Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) who don’t have a whole lot of screen time or lines, but when they’re on, they definitely bring the laughs. We also get to meet Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) who is Dante’s best friend and sidekick in all the shenanigans of the day. Some of the other ridiculous scenarios of the day include closing the store for a hockey game, a funeral, and then someone has sex with a dead guy. No, I’m not kidding.
What I did like about the movie was that it was in black and white. I’m not sure why I liked that so much but it just seemed to work. I also really like Dante and Randal, I think they’re great characters, but I’m just not crazy about all the stuff that went on throughout the movie. I didn’t really find it that funny, although I did relate to it in the dealing with obnoxious customers all day sense. I also really liked Randal’s “I don’t give a sh%t about the customer” attitude. Dante’s POV on the customer is “I don’t bother them, they don’t bother me” and he just tries to get through the day. Randal likes to give the customer a hard time once in a while in what I’d like to think is his way of saying “have a taste of your own medicine.”
While I could relate to aspects of the movie and I enjoyed the characters, I didn’t really enjoy the movie as a whole. I think Kevin Smith has since done much better movies and while this may be a cult classic, I’m not drinking this kool-aid. It’s available to watch instantly on Netflix if you’re interested to watch it for the first time (like I did) or to watch it again.
Written by: Katie Sperduti