I remember the first time I watched Clerks in 1995 quite vividly. The day was worthy of a Kevin Smith movie in my opinion. I’d spent the day with my friend Nikki. She’d told me that there was someone I just HAD to meet. So we drove down to Lucas and met her new friend Jamie.
Jamie had a girlfriend, but had developed an interest in Nikki nonetheless. When I saw him come out to the car in his Chicago Black Hawk Hockey Jersey with his long black hair, my heart skipped a beat. Nikki wanted to do a double date with her love interest at the time. I’ve long since forgotten his name, but he had to work at McDonald’s that night. The three of us stopped at the Gas Station Video Store there on 39 on our way into town. Nikki and Jamie argued over which movie to rent, so I picked out Clerks and rented it.
Later Nikki left Jamie and I alone to go wait on her friend to get off work. Jamie and I ended up hanging out at my house. About 10pm we popped in the VHS tape and watched Clerks. I never laughed so hard in my life. I liked the off-beat black and white sexy yet nerdy comedy. It was like nothing I’d ever seen.
It was 1am by the time we’d finished watching the movie and talking. I agreed to take Jamie home. Normally I would have been pissed at Nikki for not showing up, but I’d had such a good time that night, I didn’t mind. We stopped at Taco Bell and then headed back to Lucas. I didn’t want the night to end, so I kept turning down the wrong road on purpose! I was giggling, but Jamie was beginning to get a bit annoyed.
Then we got pulled over. The cop said I ran a stop sign. Allegedly I say. I was pretty tired, but I was pretty sure I stopped for it. As the cop went back to check out my info, Jamie called out, “Hey, Mister Officer, look at my new shoes!” I tried to shush him, but he called it out a second time. The cop let us off with warning, but Jamie decided he needed to drive the rest of the way home since I was an unfit driver. The two of us would have definitely made a good comedy movie.
I was too tired to drive home, so Jamie let me stay at his place. His mother and sister were asleep, so we crept in quietly and laid down together on the single bed. We laid close, but did not cuddle. We talked in whispers for a few minutes before drifting off to sleep. The subject of cheating got brought up and I wondered if his girlfriend might not find us in bed together cheating. He told me to shut up, so I did. We went to sleep and I left the next day.
Somehow I missed Mallrats. But I did catch Chasing Amy in 1997. By that time I was with Jason. But I liked the honest exploration of sexuality in the movie. Again, I’d never seen anything quite like it. I read that he was inspired by Joey Lauren Adams, who played Alyssa in the film. The two dated after she appeared in his film Mallrats.
Smith also became good friends with Ben Affleck after he was in Mallrats too. So it only makes sense he cast the two of them in Chasing Amy.
Jason and I caught Dogma and then Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back at the theater. Though the special effects were kind of cheesy in Dogma, I appreciated the dark twisted humor. Smith was not afraid to make fun of Catholicism. Best part was Alanis Morrisette as God though. Jay and Silent Bob was a crazy mixed up adventure and a homage to on of Smith’s favorite franchises—Star Wars. You have to love someone who can bring Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher back together to make fun of themselves.
Jersey Girl, which came out in 2004, was cute enough, but not in the same universe as his other films. I suppose Smith was reflecting upon how much parenthood had changed him at the time. In 2006 he revisited Clerks for a sequel. This one was in color and lacked the rawness of the first. I thought it was too slick and too over the top. Still, the ending was kind of touching. And though he didn’t make the movie, Kevin Smith acted in Catch and Release with Jennifer Garner in 2006. Since she was dating Smith’s friend Ben, she absolutely had to be in a film with Smith at some point. Right?
I saw Red State on DVD in 2011 and thought it was so unlike anything else Kevin Smith had done. It was dark and violent and all so dramatic. I wasn’t a huge fan of the film, but I admired his talent in pulling off a film that was more than fluff. He didn’t show it often, but Smith does have serious side.
Though Zack and Miri Make A Porno came out before Red State, I didn’t see Zack and Miri Make A Porno until after I saw Red State. Anyway, I admired the film. It had a lot of raunchy sex jokes, but it also had heart. It wasn’t in the same universe as Clerks, but it had the same feel to it. Zack and Miri reminded me of Chasing Amy, in fact. Anyway, looking forward to seeing Smith’s next two projects. I am always curious to see what he comes up with.
Overall, Smith is like the nerdy comic-book guy that you think is totally awesome. He knows all kinds of cool shit and is incredibly smart despite looking a little like a thug. He has a filthy mouth, yet has nothing respect for people in general and women specifically. He tells it like it is and doesn’t care what other people think. He is totally the dude you’d hang out with in real life. He is the dude that reminds you of your friend or a friend’s friend. Though famous, he is still the dude next door. All these things make me a fan of Kevin Smith. Not to mention he has made some good movies!
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