Jeremy London, Jason Lee
Directed By :
Kevin Smith

Mallrats is one of those comedies where big budget jokes aren't allowed (mainly because said big budget does not exist), and the success of the movie rests solely on smartly-written dialogue and well-done performances from the actors. Kevin Smith, the genius behind this comedy, is well aware of this fact, and fully utilizes his incredibly limited set with his incredibly talented actors.

My friends rented this movie one night during a party. I'd never even heard of it before. The comic book cover introductions to start the movie did nothing for me. Then a biting, but humorous voice began with an opening monologue about a cousin who got a cat stuck up his rear. I laughed so hard I cried. Never in all my life have I heard a movie open that way, or anything remotely like it. This is a sign of things to come.

The thing that made Monty Python and the Holy Grail as funny as it was, was the dialogue. That entire opening about eastern sparrows was so drawn out, my guffaws drowned out the rest of it. Keeping the audience continually laughing is one of the most important things in a comedy, instead of just throwing sight gags and sketches at them and hoping some land. Mallrats succeeds here. "Only eateries within the designated are downstairs qualify as a part of the food court. Anything outside of said designated square is considered an autonomous unit for mid-mall snacking." Who has the time to think of these things? Losers like Brodie and TS - mallrats, worthless layabouts who have no ambition, and to top it off, they've both been dumped.

It's a simple plot, really. TS wants to propose to his girlfriend in Universal Studios when Jaws pops out of the water, but she breaks up with him mere hours before this should take place because her father needs a contestant for his game show. Her breakup line is priceless. It's so stupid, but girls all over the nation say it. Claire Forlani's acting in this is bad, but she isn't in enough of the movie for us to care.

The real gem here is Jason Lee. Without him this movie is stupid, but I could sit and watch Brodie talk forever. He's hilarious. He seems to love the world, and really not have a care in it, but at the same time, he speaks like he hates everything. It's just funny to watch. Jason Lee has quickly become one of my favorite actors, especially after this role.

The side characters are terrific. The guy who stands and stares at the 3D picture? Priceless. Jay and Silent Bob? Priceless. The Stan Lee cameo? Priceless: "Of course, the Green Goblin showed up and pumpkin bombed the Hell out of them."

Some complained that Kevin Smith strayed from what made Clerks great, and that was his biting commentary on the world, but if you actually pay attention to this movie, it's quite clear that Kevin Smith is a big geek who likes comic books and making people laugh. No more, no less. Sometimes movies aren't made with the intention of changing the world, but making you laugh so hard you pee your pants. This is one of those.

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