Clerks 2


Whenever I have a bad day, there’s always Clerks 2 to fall back on. Strangely, I’ve never been the greatest fan of Clerks, but perhaps that’s because it was shot in black and white, or because the torrent of filth it spewed went over my head when I was too young to watch it, whereas Clerks 2 fits closer to my mid-30s demographic.

Also, Clerks 2 is at its heart a rather sweet romantic comedy. A sweet romantic comedy that, near its climax, depicts a scene of bestiality (sorry, "inter-species erotica") of course, but a sweet romantic comedy nonetheless.

It’s also an exploration of what the good life might be. Do you need to have a meaningful job, or is it preferable to be flipping burgers in a menial, meaningless job where you get to hang out with your friends, goof off and accidentally impregnate your boss?

Hang on… I’m not sure that Clerks 2 is an example that can easily be applied to my life. For a start, I’m married and my boss is a man, so the chances I can get him up the duff are vanishingly small.

But aside from the life lesson and the romance, it’s filled with saturated warm colours. The revolting purple and yellow uniform of Mooby’s, the cow-themed failure of a fast food restaurant that stands at the centre of the film, ends up being something I derive great happiness from looking at. It may be a little crude that the door of Mooby’s moos every time a customer enters, but it still works.

That’s not the only crude part, of course. There’s the profane discussions of religion, bizarre sexual practices and the Transformers. (It’s odd to watch this from 2013 and realize that the film was made when there was only one Transformers film, the 1986 cartoon with Orson Welles, rather than the trio of terrible Michael Bay explosion-fests.) Although some parts of that are quite revolting, there’s something endearing about a donkey show where one of the participants pauses to remark "cake".

Or perhaps I’m such a deviant that this seems endearing, when it’s a sign of how low I’ve sunk.

There’s a Busby Berkeley dance number in the car park of a New Jersey hamburger joint, to a Jackson 5 song. There’s Rosario Dawson. There’s a very strange reenactment of a scene from The Silence Of The Lambs. I’d say it had something for everyone, but it’s the polar opposite of a family film, or at least it’s something I won’t feel comfortable watching with my daughter between the time she can speak and when she’s all grown up. But after a tiring week, it’s comfort food for the soul.


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