Kevin Smith’s 1994 debut, Clerks, scooted by on a microscopic budget of $27,575 before grossing over $3 million in theaters. Smith put all his time and money into a black and white film about working at a convenience store, and in return received awards from Cannes and Sundance and even Independent Spirit Awards nominations. And all of these accolades lent him the studio confidence to make his 1995 follow-up: Mallrats.
Mallrats has nowhere near the breathlessly mythological making-of or critical acclaim of Clerks. It also doesn’t have the same level of inane navel-gazing or constraints conferred by a microscopic budget. Instead, we get a goofy look at a day at the mall through the eyes of a couple slackers a little more lighthearted than Dante and Randal whose dialogue is no less witty and ridiculous. We also get more screen time with Jay and Silent Bob, which, yes.
So for you Auteurs out there, maybe Mallrats is not the movie you’re looking for. But for anyone who has ever laughed at a fart joke (they can be funny!), you could not love this movie more. Which, it’s not all fart jokes. (Promise!) But it is hilarious and heartwarming and takes place almost entirely in a mall! I mean, what more are you looking for?
dir. Kevin Smith
Part of the ongoing series: After Midnite