Written & Directed by Kevin Smith
Starring Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Joey Lauren Adams, Michael Rooker, Ethan Suplee, Renee Humphrey, Priscilla Barnes, & Stan Lee
Release Date: October 20, 1995
Running Time: 1hr 34min (Theatrical) 2hr 2min (Extended)
T.S. Quint (London) gets dumped by his girlfriend, Brandi Svenning (Forlani), when he flips out over her agreeing to be on a dating gameshow, Truth or Date, created by her dad (Rooker), who’s never liked T.S. On the same days, Brodie Bruce (Lee) gets dumped by his girlfriend, Rene Mosier (Doherty), who can no longer stand his lack of ambition, waining affection towards her, and the fact that he’s yet to introduce her to his mother. Brodie suggests to T.S. that they go to the local mall to distract themselves from the recent dumping; it doesn’t go that way.
As it turns out, Truth or Date is being filmed at the mall. So the two enlist the help of Jay and Silent Bob (Mewes and Smith) to destroy the stage so the show won’t go on (which they were actually planning on doing anyway). Further complications arise when Brodie finds out Rene is seeing Shannon Hamilton (Affleck), the manager of one of the mall stores, who’s constantly hostile towards him. Major hijinks ensue.
Upon its original release, the film only managed to earn $2 million against a $6 million budget, and received mixed to negative reviews from critics (Jason Lee was typically praised for his performance). Thanks to home video (the days before streaming and even DVD! When you had to rewind a film once you were done watching!), the film developed a cult following over time and many still enjoy it and rank it among Smith’s best films.
This was the first Kevin Smith movie I ever saw, my older brother had a VHS copy and I borrowed it (very handy having a VCR in my room!). I was 9 at the time, so a lot of the jokes went over my head (mostly the sex references) but I still laughed my ass off.
I would say the early laughs came from the physical gags (particularly Silent Bob crashing into things), but I also found plenty of the dialogue funny, plus I was a budding comic book collector so I gravitated towards Brodie (who also has the best lines). As I grew older, and understood the jokes more, my love for the movie got stronger.
This was also my introduction to comic book legend, Stan Lee, who I didn’t know at the time was the co-creator of some of the best known Marvel Comics superheroes (I was still very new to comics, creator names weren’t as important to me yet), so that definitely blew my grade school mind! With all these factors, it’s still my personal favorite in Smith’s filmography, and one of my favorite movies in general. I definitely recommend seeing this!