What You Need To Know:
(H, LLL, S, D) Humanism; 204 obscenities; dialogue filled with off-color references to promiscuity & pornography; and, minor character is a drug dealer.
By turns funny and tasteless, CLERKS is a raunchy black comedy about a day in the life of twentysomething convenience store clerk Dante Hicks, a day that includes an attack by a violent anti-smoking mob, a rooftop hockey game, an overturned casket, and a dead body in the store’s bathroom. Add to the mix an odd assortment of patrons and hangers-on and you have the strangest convenience store this side of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. In writer/director Kevin Smith’s hands, Dante’s convenience store becomes a kind of baby-buster town hall, wherein all manner of disillusioned Generation X-ers come in to gripe about how everything stinks and how it is everyone else’s fault.
As can be expected for a film of such limited budget ($27,500), CLERKS lacks the polished look and acting caliber of most Hollywood productions; yet, the film still manages to engross and entertain, coasting on a clever script and the off-beat charm of its leads. Though devoid of nudity and violence, CLERKS earns its rating by focusing on its characters’ high school-ish obsession with sex and things sexual. Replete with obscenities, the movie is filled with scenes in which people describe in the most vulgar terms their sexual desires, fears and frustrations. Characters are constantly engaged in the kind of locker-room banter endemic to a culture where sex is seen as sport.