Clerks (1994)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Buddy Film, Workplace Comedy  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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While Clerks doesn't have much going for it cinematically -- it looks even cheaper than its $27,000 budget would lead you to expect and the directorial style can be described as "nail down the camera and let the actors play the scene" -- it's still an effective and very funny movie, largely thanks to the screenplay by first-time writer/director Kevin Smith. Chock full of instantly quotable dialogue performed by an unknown cast with an appropriate tone of Jersey slacker cynicism, Clerks is a hilarious rant against (and from) the lowest rungs of minimum-wage slavery. If convenience store clerk Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and his best friend, video store counter guy Randall (Jeff Anderson), don't do anything terribly interesting (the action high point of the film is a brief hockey game played on a roof), that's part of the point; these guys' lives are going nowhere, and they know it. But rather than do anything about it, they talk about whatever keeps them from dying of boredom, including which Star Wars movie was the best, the sexual escapades of their girlfriends, the virtues of hermaphrodite porn, and the endless parade of stupid customers they have to deal with. Anyone who has ever worked retail will enjoy a long, loud laugh of bitter recognition while watching Clerks, while anyone else should thank their lucky stars if they don't understand the sheer hell of spending eight hours behind the counter that this film captures with such accuracy.