***.8 BM
Starring: Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Michael Rooker, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Renee Humphrey, Ben Affleck, Stan Lee, Priscilla Barnes, Brian O'Halloran, Ethan Suplee, Joey Lauren Adams


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BIAS ALERT: I'm a Kevin Smith fan. I dig the stuff. When I first saw this film, I was in the exact right mood you need to be in to see it - hanging out with friends, late at night, ready for a stupid goofball comedy. Tis a fond memory of laughing my ass off at this thing, so it's sentimental indeed. The mere sight of Jason Mewes is enough to set me a-laughin.

Watching it again, however, without being in that mood tends to make the problems with the film a bit more noticeable, but it's still entertaining. Couple of schmucks get dumped for being assholes, they spend a day moping at the mall and wind up in zany hijinks that get them their babes back. It was intended as a screwball goofy comedy, and lots of people weren't havin' it back when it came out. See, ol' Kev was still establishing the Askewniverse - the off-kilter world of his that features people that talk in rant form and even the dumbasses can turn a phrase.

It's a definite hop upwards from Clerks if for no other reason than the budget was obviously bigger and the technical problems are generally cleared up, despite some awkward moments that apparently sprung from a lame subplot being excised at the last minute (handy DVD-behind-the-scenes-hot-damn-I'm-an-insider information!) that required heavy re-editing and looping and what-not. The plot is a bit haphazard sometimes, but that's to be expected in a screwball comedy.

Jason Lee makes an entertaining obnoxious bastard as Brodie, especially when tearing into someone. His angry comments about Gil Hicks' stupid 'dating game' answers at the end still make me giggle like a little girl. Jeremy London is a bit iffy as the 'everyman' sorta guy as T.S. He comes off like a total jackass in the initial 'breakup' and most of his problems with his girlfriend are groundless, so it's not all that easy to give a crap about him. Brodie is supposed to be a jackass, but T.S. is supposed to be the nicer one, but he's actually a bit of a prick himself, which makes Joey Lauren Adams talking him up seem a bit off. Shannen Doherty seemed to struggle at times with the Smith-rant dialog, rendering some of her witticisms unintelligible. Claire Forlani is ridiculously attractive as Brandy, but stuff like Antitrust and Boys and Girls has soured my opinion of her. As always, a big fatty-boom-batty to Jay and Silent Bob, who I still maintain should have been the killers at the end of Scream 3. Stan "The Man" Lee is pretty smooth, too, as usual.

"Mallrats" is not a 'good' film, but it's a lot of fun if you can appreciate the style and the whole Kevin Smith vibe, which I emphatically do.

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