Time: 92 mins.
CLERKS is the debut film of Kevin Smith, a director whose films are either loved or hated, but rarely boring. Not one to shy away from controversy, Smith tells it like it is, or at least lets his characters speak their minds, regardless of the consequences. An independent film festival darling, CLERKS won many awards for it's open, honest and nasty sense of humor. Smith admits that his films aren't much to look at which is especially true with CLERKS but you won't really care because you'll be laughing too hard. This film was shot on a shoestring budget and it shows. The editing and camera work aren't of the highest caliber either. However, if this doesn't make it onto your comedy best list, you don't know what funny is.
It's a simple enough story. The film follows a day in the life of two clerks Dante (O'Halloran), who works at the local convenience store and Randal (Anderson), a slacker who mans the counter at the video store next door. Randal isn't Dante's favorite person, but they've become friends over the years, even though Randal's complete lack of responsibility is constantly getting Dante into trouble. This day in particular is supposed to be Dante's day off, but he's called in to fill in for someone else. While hanging out behind the counter, he ponders his future, mainly due to the pressure of his girlfriend Veronica, who's getting tired of dating someone that's had the same job since high school. She wants him to grow up and go to college so they can have a real life together.
He's not so sure he wants to go to college, never mind spend the rest of his life with her. He knows being a clerk is not his life's goal, he's just unsure where he wants to go from here...and is not really in a hurry to find out. Randal is of no help what-so-ever. He dislikes pretty much everything and everyone who could potentially destroy his perfect existence working at the video store and hanging out with Dante. He gets Dante thinking about his high school sweetheart Caitlin and what his life would have been like had they stayed together. This opens up a can of worms, Dante has a hard time getting the lid back on. It's a day that goes from bad to worse, with Dante barely holding onto his sanity. It's a miracle the store isn't burned to the ground. In fact, the day ends with a scenario you won't soon, if ever, forget.