So a couple of weeks ago I get a recommendation from my friend and fellow RT Gomer Productions writer, “MishaMayhem”, to watch director Kevin Smith’s debut film, “Clerks”…and I loved it! This was a brilliant movie that examines not only the frustrations of retail work (or in the case of Clerks II, food service) but also with life in general. Now this is not going to be a review because I have nothing to particularly say about the movie besides the fact that I thought “Clerks” had a very abrupt ending in my opinion (even though it was leaps and bounds better than Smith’s original ending) and also that the cartoon series, “Clerks: The Animated Series”, was too short (which Kevin Smith takes full responsibility for in the commentary for the first episode on the DVD collection. LOL!)
No, this will actually be my observations and thoughts on the four basic characters: Dante, Randall, Jay and Silent Bob. Why do I feel like doing this instead of a review? Because I disagree with some of the analyzations that have been made on the characters. During this article, I will also attempt to cover the movies and cartoons without spoiling them (even though the statute of spoiler limitations on the first movie has most likely expired, but that’s debatable. XD) Anyways, let’s get started!
First off Mr. “I’m not even supposed to be here today” himself, Dante Hicks, a character that seems to try to please both authoritative figures and women who he thinks like him. I watched the preview for the cartoon series that aired on ABC [Note: I watched this on YouTube, not ABC] that called both him and Randall “slackers”. I disagree with this statement because based on what I’ve seen in both movies, Dante seems to want more out of life than his friend Randall does, he just doesn’t know what he wants. I noticed that this desire seems to also be the central theme of his character in the movies (whereas the cartoon series seems to simplify him to just be the straight man to Randall’s antics). Another thing I noticed about Dante is that he seems to be disillusioned (or too forgiving) with the women he gets into a relationship with. What I mean by this is that in both movies he has a girlfriend (or fiancé in Clerks II) that he likes but has a few issues with as well as either:
Clerks: a girl that didn’t “respect” (trying to keep it PG-13 here, see movie for full details) him much in the past but wants to date him again.
Clerks II: His manager who considers him as a friend of hers.
The disillusion/forgiveness comes in when he either decides to try dating the same girl who didn’t care much for him before again, or denies that his current fiancé is “not the right one” for him as they say (Don’t ask who “they” are, because I don’t know. LOL!) I found this to be an interesting trait (or whatever you want to call it) as this is the part that I find somewhat relatable to the common person. I know that sounds stupid as a movie should try to be relatable to its audience but if nothing else I found that relatable to me based on an event in my life that I’ll discuss at a later time (right now I’ll just say I met someone who doesn’t acknowledge my existence anymore). Anyways, my thoughts and reactions about Dante sum up to my initial thought that he’s not a slacker; he just doesn’t know what he wants in life.
His friend, Randall, on the other hand seems to be on the opposite end of the spectrum because he seems to be very content with where he is in life with no interest in moving onto anything else. In my opinion, Randall, seems to better fit the definition of the word “slacker” [in my opinion] as he doesn’t seem to take his job as seriously as his friend Dante does nor does he have any respect for any of the customers that walk into his place of employment (hence his quote that their job would be great without the customers). It should also be noted that Randall is rarely at his place of employment because he’s usually hanging out with Dante at his job (which is conveniently next door). Randall also seems to not care how his actions affect others as he’s constantly got his friend, Dante, into trouble (such as taunting a lawyer into taking up a lawsuit against Dante in an episode of the cartoon series). Both Clerks and Clerks II also point out that Randall can’t keep a secret (an issue that has almost ruined Dante’s life twice) nor is aware of what is offensive to others either. I would also like to note that his cartoon self seems to occasionally believe that he is the smarter one of the two (which is noted in the “dream sequence” scenes of cartoon where he accomplishes something big with Dante claiming “I’m such an idiot”).
This would lead me to believe that Randall is somewhat of a troublesome person but also very outgoing too, until he hits the point where he needs to speak his mind on a decision or complaint that Dante has. A point at which he reveals feelings that you’d never expect to hear from someone that acts like his character. One of these feelings being that even though Randall drives Dante nuts, he also considers Dante his best friend and the counterbalance to his life as well. Randall also seems to be one that starts a lot of the discussions and misadventures that Dante and him go on during the movies and cartoon series. In short, Randall is definitely more of a slacker than Dante is, but also seems to be a very nice person to anyone he considers a friend (which is very few people).
Last but not least is the duo of Jay and Silent Bob, who I don’t have much to say about as they are presented as very simple, straightforward characters in the “Clerks” movies and cartoons [I am aware that they have had some character development in Kevin Smith’s other movies, this is not featured in the Clerks movies or cartoons though]. They are usually defined as loitering drug dealers in “Clerks”, merry mischief-makers in the “Clerks” cartoon (as drug dealers weren’t ok to show on TV when this aired I guess), and mostly loiterers in “Clerks II”. The one thing I wanted to note with them was the friendship between them. I found it interesting (more so in their own movie “Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back” as well as “Chasing Amy”) that Jay seems to be on friendly terms with Silent Bob, until Silent Bob speaks and usually says something more intelligent than Jay’s thoughts are (whose thoughts will get me kicked off both Rosenhacker’s site, RT Gomer Productions, and/or RVT if I repeat them here, plus I like to write on a PG/PG-13 level). At which point, Jay would make shots at Silent Bob about what he said (or in Clerks II, what he didn’t say). This would also be followed by a retort from Silent Bob on Jay’s comment toward him. I just always thought this was interesting to see in the movies they are featured in as I find it interesting that someone would be on friendly terms with their companion until they hear that their friend is possibly smarter than they are (this is not shown in the cartoon however). I may be just overthinking that part though. XD!
Well, there you have it! My retrospective/thoughts/observations/whatever the heck you want to call it on the Clerks movies. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings here and I’ll be back hopefully sooner with either a blog or another review, See you laters! =D