Monday, February 27, 2017

Movie #391: Mallrats

Mallrats is the second movie in Kevin Smith's "View Askew-niverse," and stars Jason Lee, Claire Forlani, Jeremy London, Shannon Doherty, Ethan Suplee, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, and Michael Rooker.

TS (London) goes to pick up his girlfriend Brandi (Forlani) to take her to Florida, but learns that her father (Rooker) has tapped her to be on his dating show because the original contestant died swimming laps because TS called her fat. Meanwhile, Brodie (Lee), an abrasive slacker, gets dumped by his girlfriend Rene (Doherty) because...he's an abrasive slacker and she's done with it. They get together and go to the mall, where everything else in the movie happens. Brodie employs Jay and Silent Bob (Mewes and Smith, respectively) to disrupt the dating show that happens to be filming at the mall, Rene is dating a manager at a men's wear store (a very young Ben Affleck) who's deliberately looking for girls on the rebound, TS' ex Gwen (Joey Lauren Adams) is there shopping, and so on and on.

Mallrats is very much Kevin Smith suffering from some growing pains. Clerks was clever and all dialog, but the actors made it work. Here, we have two dudes who can't quite make Smith's stilted dialog sound natural. Actually, hell, that's true of Claire Forlani, too - she hasn't quite shed her accent and she utterly fails at making her character likeable, even though her character is pretty much in the right about the whole situation (to wit: her dad is a possessive ass, but so is TS).

The movie has its moments; there's an embrace of physical comedy and even some magical realism that I find fun, and Adams is always fun (and she can handle Smith's dialog, as can Doherty, weirdly). Mostly, though, the lead characters are kind of dicks, the confrontation between Brandi and TS is oddly hostile, and the women are sexualized in a pretty sophomoric way.

My Grade: C
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: The Maltese Faction, unless I buy Doctor Strange first