Jeremy London, Jason Lee
| Directed By :
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.