It's funny how some movies shouldn't work and technically don't but totally do.
Mallrats is one of those movies.
Cinematically, it's all over the place. As a romantic comedy, it gets pretty corny and you could literally take out TS's (Jeremy London) subplot out entirely, replace it with more dick jokes and the whole movie would be even better for it. Not classier but better. As it stands, the tone is kinda hit-and-miss and some of the performances either fall flat (Claire Forlani's Brandi) or are hammy as hell (Michael Rooker). The result is a film which feels like many different types of movies stuck together randomly into some sort of post-modern 90's collage: the dialogs have a Woody Allen-esque verbosity to them every so often, all the Jay and Silent Bob stuff is pure Wile E. Coyote cartoon, the gross out jokes are straight out of something like Caddyshack so it's a weird mix to say the least.
That said, as with several other Smith flicks, there is a John Hughes-style charm to the whole thing that won't appeal to everyone but will appeal to many. For one thing, Mallrats boasts some of the best Jay and Silent Bob moments in any one of his films. You've got Batman references in there, Star Wars references (of course), X-Men references... it's for geeks by geeks. Being something of a geek myself, I appreciate that. Hell, you even have Stan Lee himself popping up and giving Jason Lee's Brody relationship advice. It'll all fly over the heads of those unfamiliar with Marvel comics, unfortunately. The film's plot involves Brody and his friend TS both being dumped by their girlfriends on the same day, the former for a good reason, the latter not so much. The duo walk and talk, try to figure their respective situations out while getting into all sorts of trouble and planning to destroy a cheesy televised dating show. Ben Affleck pops up as the local mall douchebag, Chasing Amy's Joey Lauren Adams brings her usual squeaky voice as she tries on various underwear and gets punched in the boob and even Clerks graduate Brian O'Halloran gets a cameo appearance.
Mallrats is uneven, for sure, but it's a fun movie and has enough likability and good jokes to make it an enjoyable, light-hearted effort all around. Not Kevin Smith's best but definitely one fans will remember fondly and overall it's a fine teen movie with maybe too much heart but a good bunch of lols too.
Say, would you like a chocolate covered pretzel?