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Mallrats

Year: 1995
Production Co: View Askew
Studio: Universal
Director: Kevin Smith
Producer: Scott Mosier
Writer: Kevin Smith
Cast: Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Shannon Doherty, Claire Forlani, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Joey Lauren Adams, Michael Rooker, Ben Affleck, Stan Lee

Kevin Smith's gone on record many a time about how Universal gave his second effort to an experienced editor to put together because of his being an untested director. If he has any problems with the film he'd undoubtedly blame that, but they go deeper.

He fancied himself a writer as well as a director and with the world at his feet after Clerks it seems he was simply too in love with the smartest dialogue he could think up for his characters. The result is stiff and formal on screen, delivered by characters it sounds strange coming out of.

It also suffers from conflicting tones that don't really fit together very well. The first is the kind of Gen X, love-in-the-90s cleverness that made Chasing Amy a much better film, and the second is the Jay and Silent Bob sequences, which moved and looked like live action Saturday morning cartoons (undoubtedly the mood Smith was going for).

When his girlfriend Brandi (Forlani) dumps him for his insensitivity, college slacker TS (London, whom I've never seen since) follows his aimless, talky friend Brodie (Lee) to the local mall where they do what they do best – hang around aimlessly and make trouble.

They get their chance because Brandi's TV producer dad Svenning (Rooker) is putting on a live telecast of a dating game-style show and the boys try anything they can to sabotage it, including roping Jay and Silent Bob in for the comic sequences.

There are a few laughs but it hasn't aged well. It's more interesting as a document about Smith's developing confidence.

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