Starring: Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty
Director: Kevin Smith
Running Time: 94 mins
Mallrats is an American film about a pair of guys who, after both being dumped by their girlfriends, go to the mall to drown their sorrows.
I suppose it’s a little strange to call what is at times a fairly raunchy comedy ‘innocent’, but there’s something about Mallrats which, like many of Kevin Smith’s other films, has a irresistibly joyful innocence and simplicity to it.
On the whole, the film isn’t a masterpiece of comedy, even if it does have some good laughs throughout. However, what really makes it stand out is a very honest and intimate sense of nostalgia, or at least, affection for a carefree time in everybody’s lives.
The story effectively revolves around the hijinks of a couple of guys hanging around at the mall. They get into trouble with pretty much everyone they come across, and end up in a series of enjoyably ridiculous situations.
All of that harks back to a blissfully innocent period in life where you’re just old enough to go off and have your own adventures, but not quite old enough to be burdened with the harsh worries and responsibilities that comes with adult life.
Though the two guys start off being broken up with by their girlfriends, the majority of the film is a very upbeat tale of friends wiling away the hours at the mall, a world that’s portrayed in this film as an almost magical land where everything and anything can happen.
Along with a cast of zany characters who all find themselves at the centre of the action at some point, Mallrats is a very loose and light-hearted film that really hits a sweet spot between enjoyably raunchy humour and pleasant, innocent storytelling.
In terms of the comedy, Mallrats definitely isn’t on the level of some of the later films in the View Askewniverse, particularly Chasing Amy and Dogma. Maybe that’s because this movie is so light, but it also doesn’t have the same clever wit as some of the films that followed it.
I didn’t find myself rolling around in laughter, but I still found Mallrats funny enough. I think there’s more to be gained from this film by looking at its sweet and innocent story, but if you’re searching for laughs, then I think you’ll still enjoy this movie. So, that’s why I’m giving Mallrats a 7.3 overall.