Friday, February 18, 2011
(October 1994, U.S.)
Back when I posted CHASING AMY I mentioned that I owned only one other Kevin Smith film; welcome to it. It's a black and white independent art film that I would rank as one of the best debut films ever made (it's not exactly CITIZEN KANE, but it's up there!) And it's practically autobiographical because Smith worked in a Quick Stop convenience store before becoming a film maker.
Okay, so we've all had our share of retail jobs during the course of our lives. During my youth, I had four; two of them were fine and two of them were equivalent to the deepest pit in Hell (in my opinion, anyway). The worst one for me was a short stint at a New York City Banana Republic outlet. Sure, that may not sound as bad as mopping the floor at your local McDonalds, but for someone like me who can't stand the idea of having to deal with people off the street for his paycheck, the job was an emotional nightmare. Try to appreciate how much effort and performance it requires to come off as if you're more than happy to assist a customer with their needs when all you're really thinking is how badly you want this person to just get the fuck out of your face! I should also point out that I've never been someone who gave a rat's ass about fashion statements; not for myself or for other people. But hey, I suppose other young people have suffered worse fates than being surrounded by folded clothes all day. My younger brother used to serve frozen yogurt to some of the snottiest bitches that ever walkked the face of Long Island!
(Oh, but we're here to talk about the film CLERKS, aren't we?)
I suppose the tag line for the film's poster says it all..."Just because they serve you doesn't mean they like you." Nothing could be further from the truth in the case of our heroes, Dante Hicks and Randal Graves. They're both twenty-two years-old (that's right, I said TWENTY TWO!) and still working cruddy jobs in a New Jersey convenience store and video rental store. Naturally, they both hate their jobs and the annoying customers they have to deal with on a regular basis ("This job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking customers."). Dante suppresses his anger and resentment toward the customers and puts on a real nice smile for them in order to keep his job. Randal, on the other hand, isn't the shy type. He'll spit water in a customer's face if it makes him happy. He'll intentionally ignore a customer if it makes him happy. He'll blatantly use vulgar language in front of a mother and her child if it makes him happy. Randal is so completely oblivious to his job and the customers that he also unknowingly sells a pack of cigarettes to a four year-old girl. And by the way, it seems very clear that the savages who live in this dipshit little New Jersey town are ALL smokers!
So people, next time you walk into your local 7-11 or fast food establishment, just know ahead of time that the clerk behind the register is probably thinking the most despicable thoughts of you, whether you deserve them or not. Deal with it.
Favorite line or dialogue:
Mother with child: " Excuse me, do you sell videos?"
Randal Graves: "Yeah, what're you looking for?"
Mother: "Happy Scrappy Hero Pup."
Randal: "Uh, one second. I'm on the phone with the distribution house now. Lemme make sure they got it. What's it called again?"
Mother: " Happy Scrappy Hero Pup."
Randal: "Happy Scrappy!"
Mother: "She loves it."
(into the phone)
Randal: " Uh, yeah, hi. This is RST Video calling. Customer number 4352. I'd like to place an order. Okay, I need one each of the following tapes: "Whispers in the Wind", "To Each His Own", "Put It Where It Doesn't Belong", "My Pipes Need Cleaning", "All Tit-Fucking Volume 8", "I Need Your Cock", "Ass-Worshipping Rim-Jobbers", "My Cunt and Eight Shafts", "Cum Clean", "Cum-Gargling Naked Sluts", "Cum Buns III", "Cumming in Socks", "Cum On Eileen", "Huge Black Cocks with Pearly White Cum", "Girls Who Crave Cock", "Girls Who Crave Cunt", "Men Alone II: The KY Connection", "Pink Pussy Lips", oh, yeah, and, uh, "All Holes Filled with Hard Cock". Yup. Oh, wait a minute."
(to the mother)
Randal: "Uh, what was that called again?"