Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Script review – “Clerks” by Kevin Smith

This holds up extremely well – probably more so than the film, which was hurt by some bad acting. It’s a great example of “write what you know” and also “write within what you can make” – one day in a convenience store. But it also gives us reasons to watch; there is a story – whether Dante should go to school and get back with his ex. There is emotional undercurrent – his relationship with his current girlfriend and ex. And there is wonderful arias of dialogue.

It breaks into sequences: the anti-soking campaigner; the how-many-times-have-you-have-sex (ending with the brilliant "37 dicks”); the arrival of Randall – insulting the video customer; Dante and Randall talk about Caitlin’s cheating; Randall reads out a list of porno names; Jay and Silent Bob and Olaf; Randall talks about Return of the Jedi; Randall and an indecisive customer; the egg man; Randall and Dante talk annoying customers;Randall decides to play hockey on the roof; the old man borrows some porno mags; visiting the wake; Randall borrows Dante’s car and talks about being master of destiny; Dante meets Ric Derris; Caitlin arrives; Caitlin has sex with the dead guy; Randall gives Dante a rocket; talking to Jay makes Dante realise he loves Veronica; Randall tells Veronica about Caitlin; Veronica attacks Dante; Dante attacks Randall; they reconcile – then Dante is killed. A bad move and I’m glad they cut it.

Smith is brilliant with dialogue and good on emotion, particularly bromance; his women are smart too. You could still film this and it would work.

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