Clerks - am I supposed to like this?

Actors that can actually act well usually don’t work for free. Were you expecting Marlin Brando or something?

Yeah, the movie aint ALL that. But for a slightly glorified home movie its pretty damn good IMO. And if that kinda of quirky movie/humor aint your thing, it aint your thing. Nothing wrong with that. There’s a reason odd little movies are of a style thats not like mainstream movies (and thats what makes em odd little movies). They DON’T appeal to the majority of the people. If they did, they wouldn’t be quirky movies. They would be like the mainstream ones.

Also, I think the “poor” acting enhances the movie. It feels more “real” (or somesuch). Whether that was just chance, all they had to work with, or they took a bug and made a feature out of it I don’t know.

You had to be there. Clerks captured a particular flavor of 1990’s gen-x ironic detachment really well. When I first saw it I was blown away by seeing people who talked like my friends and I talked on the screen. After years of tone-deaf baby boomer movies, it was a breath of fresh air, even if the production quality was ass. However, I can absolutely imagine that it hasn’t aged well.

I think it probably helps a lot of if you saw it when it was fresh, and had nerd cred before people really articulated it as “nerd cred.” It probably would help to be a bit high, too.

It was a revelation at the time. There really hadn’t been anything quite like it, except possibly Slacker from a few years prior, which is actually a lot like Clerks in all the ways that you would probably really hate.

A lot of what made Clerks particularly shiny at the time has since been copied so much that you might be forgiven for finding it a bit stale.

See this is an absolutely fair criticism. Yes, I probably did have to be there…but maybe I am a bit too old to really get into it. I’m totally not a pothead, and I’m an 80s child, born in the 70s, who knows. :slight_smile:

The movie is best understood by people in their 30’s. To us, it is a testament of those who never quite got ambitious. It’s not that the acting is poor, it’s that they’re a couple of 30-something guys who talk like they don’t want to be where they are (both in the short-term and the long), and a lot of us can relate to that.

The movie doesn’t have a plot. It’s not supposed to. It’s a day in the life of a guy who never applied himself.

Very true, and I learned that the hard way :smiley:
Big fan of the movie since I saw it in the late 90’s. Made the mistake of showing it to my then girlfriend at the time, also after hyping it up at one of the funniest movies ever for a couple days.
Did not go over well, don’t think she laughed once.


And I’ll never watch Return of the Jedi again without thinking of those poor innocent construction workers who were needlessly killed when Death Star II blows up. :frowning:

This movie flat-out blows.

The only thing worse than the crappy delivery of the totally unfunny jokes is the legion of brain-dead Kevin Smith worshippers who sneak little references to the movie into their everyday lives, like this is supposed to make them clever or something. If I ever saw one of those people on the street, I’d beat the crap out of him on general principle.

They’re just a bunch of large termites.

  • George Lucas

You, sir, are officially an Internet Tough Guy, and for that, I salute you.

I salute him too, for other reasons.

But making your first movie in black and white has become an indie cliche. It’s like they’re saying “Yo, look at us all black and white and keeping it real. We ain’t got no studio money. We’re making our movie in the streets.”

When I first saw it, I was approximately the same age as the clerks. I knew people exactly like them. The film was familiar and hysterical and I loved it then.

I highly doubt it’s aged well. I haven’t watched it recently, but I think it was a product of its time and may have stopped resonating before the turn of the millennium. I also suspect that the things I found screamingly funny when I was a teenager/20-something would seem really juvenile now.

Maybe you just had to be there?

Yes, the directer had you and only you in mind when he filmed it.

I was actually quite disappointed that Clerks 2 was in color. I thought that the black and white was part of the charm of the first movie.

My understanding is that Kevin Smith himself has stated that the reaction to Clerks was over-hyped.

But life’s too short to finish movies (or books, or games) that you don’t like.

No. I get why Kevin Smith had such poor actors, but it’s still a fair criticism of the movie. I liked it, but not because of the acting.

From what I understand, a lot of people had a hard time making it through the first 20 minutes of the movie, including Harvey Weinstein.

I agree with the “had to be there / right movie at the right time” group. I was 22 when it came out, right out of college, and it was the FUNIEST THING EVER. I saw it again a few years ago and wondered where all the funny parts went. It still has it’s moments, but it has not aged well, plus it’s been copied and parodied so much, that it seems really stale now.

As an aside, a big claim to fame is the <$30k budget, but I always wondered how the hell did he manage to spend anywhere near $30k on it? The actors were free or nearly so, Smith wrote and directed it, so no fees there. El Mariachi was made around the same time and also famously had a $7000 budget. Anyone know what cost “so much” in Clerks?

I’m too tired to render a whole salute, so I’ll just raise these two fingers.