Silent Bob’s movie speaks volumes

A Review of “Clerks”


Andy Newman, Chief Editor


Director Kevin Smith says more through two life-stuck twentysomethings in a gas station in the movie “Clerks” than many others have when equipped with far more elegant characters. The black-and-white filtered tale follows the characters Dante Hicks and his good friend Randal Graves. The movie opens with Dante (Brian O’Halloran) being called in on his day off; his boss promises that Dante will be able to leave by noon. During his day at the local Quick Stop convenience store, Dante faces irritating situations and customers in between brain-picking discussions involving Star Wars movies and Dante’s cowardice with Randal (Jeff Anderson), who is meant to be running the failing video rental store next door. Dante’s current girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) stops in to bring him lasagna and then leaves over a petty argument over her sexual history, which initiates a major plot line. Dante may get back together with a previously horrible girlfriend of his, Caitlin Bree (Lisa Spoonauer). As the movie continues on, Dante and Randal experience and are responsible for oddities alike, as they are left to watch the store all day when Dante’s boss fails to fulfill his promise.  

Dialogue and true-to-human-nature comedy propel this movie into many first-rate lists: Total Film magazine ranked “Clerks” 16th in greatest comedies of all time in 2000, and Empire magazine ranked the film 4th greatest independent film of all time in 2006. These rankings speak worlds and the quality behind them should be expected to hold up even in today’s cinematic universe…and it does! Even to a first time viewer all these years after the 1994 release of “Clerks”, the movie achieves a simultaneous relatability and obscurity that draws the viewer in. Once drawn in, Kevin Smith (who appears in the movie as ‘Silent Bob’) offers insight into what being stuck in one’s own life can mean, and how one can escape it. Along with these insights come little side themes on love, death, and of course, friendship.  So while this small-budget movie may feel like it’s “not even supposed to be in today”(’s) top movies, everyone is forcing it to stay.