Mallrats (1995) Movie Review

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams

Plot: Both dumped by their girlfriends, two best friends seek refuge in the local mall.

Tagline – It’s mall or nothing

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Comedy

Story: Mallrats starts when TS (London) gets dumped by his girlfriend Brandi (Forlani), while his best friend Brodie (Lee) also gets dumped by Rene (Doherty), to get over the loss the two head to the mall to hang out, only to learn that Brandi’s father Svenning (Rooker) is hosting his dating gameshow in the mall, with Brandi as a contestant, leading the pair to look to sabotage the event.

As the day unfolds Brodie and TS do what they can to get their girlfriends back, learning what they need to focus on in life, while seeing their perfect lives going away from them.

Thoughts on Mallrats

Characters – TS is about to propose to his girlfriend only to get involved in argument breaking up with her, he turns to his best friend to help him through the day, as he plans to get her back, looking through his life, trying to figure out what went wrong. Brodie is the best friend that talks too much, he also gets dumped by his girlfriend and takes it differently to TS, he plans to just hang out at the mall, like most days, where he knows everybody, being more of a slacker than anything else. Rene is Brodie’s ex-girlfriend that just wanted him to get serious and has given him too many chances without getting any success in change from him. Brandi breaks up with TS after his joke ends up with a tragic ending, forcing her to go on the show and thinking Brodie needs to focus on something else in life.

PerformancesJeremy London is great in his role, but it is Jason Lee that easily steals this movie with his perfect comedy timing. Shannen Doherty and Claire Forlani are both strong when they get a chance on centre stage, with the performances from the supporting roles all being great too.

StoryThe story here follows two men that get dumped and spend the day planning on trying to get them back, learning about their mistakes to move forward in life, all from their favourite mall. This story does work very well and does show that sometimes you do need to just look at your life and reassess mistakes you might have been making in a relationship, it is told in a way that shows how well the two friends get on and how they know everybody there too. We get plenty of events which lead up to the conclusion of the story, showing that each member of the cast we meet is important to the final story.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy here comes from the events of the day, more comes from Brodie and the supporting cast who will get plenty of laughs. The romance focuses on how two young men need to learn what is important in life for them both.

SettingsThe film is set in one shopping mall, it shows how it can bring people together and how a day in a life can happen with so much going on.

Scene of the Movie – The gameshow.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could see more from the women’s point of view.

Final Thoughts This is one of the best comedies from the 90s, it has perfect timing for the most part and shows how life can be about a series of events in one day, making life bigger than you could imagine.

Overall: Laugh Out Loud Funny.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – Z – The Producers (1967)

This is under Z because of the star of the movie Zero Mostel

Director: Mel Brooks

Writer: Mel Brooks (Screenplay)

Starring: Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel, Estelle Winwood, Dick Shawn, Kenneth Mars, Lee Meredith

Plot: Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.

Tagline – Once upon a time there was a Broadway producer…who met a “creative” but timid accountant. Together they concocted the most outrageous $1,000,000 scheme in the annals of Show Biz.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Awkwardly Dated

Story: The Producers starts with Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Mostel) who was once one of the biggest producers around, now he is facing hard times and potential financial ruin, until his accountant Leo Bloom (Wilder) poses the idea of producing a flop play, while creating the funds that would see him pocketing the rest.

Max and Leo become producer partners, pick out the play to produce, one that is bound to fail and set up to make the play Springtime With Hitler, the two must go out to make sure the play flops so they can make out with the fortune they dreamed off.

Thoughts on The Producers

Characters – Max Bialystock was once one of the biggest producers on Broadway, he is facing financial ruin now, using his charm to trick older ladies into giving him money and uses his accountant to help make a fortune, he will always find a way to make things worse, as he is looking to produce the worst possible play. Leo Bloom is an honest accountant that believes you could make a fortune, by making a terrible play on Broadway, this does make him a producer even if he lacks the flair Max has to put the money behind the scheme. While most of the film circles around the pair, we do meet the German writer, the elaborate director and the new star of the play.

PerformancesZero Mostel does bring us a character that is truly in the mindset of the producer that we could see doing whatever he wants to get the money he wants, while Gene Wilder can turn a switch from clam to loud in an instant.

StoryThe story here follows to Broadway producers that go in search for the worst possible play in an attempt to make millions from the benefactors, which looks like a flawless plan. This is a story that does show how producers could do something illegal to make sure they get rich, which does see them push the limits of criminal actions. This is a story that does play into stereotypes that would be questioned a lot now, though part of that is meant to placed on the story being told.

Comedy/Music The comedy in the film does feel like it has dated in a way that would have worked at the time, but now the jokes would come off too offensive.

SettingsThe film does use the settings that you would see producers around, it shows how they would operate and how they would need to get onto the big stage.

Scene of the Movie – The intermission.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The jokes don’t work anymore.

Final Thoughts This is a smart idea for a film, it is one that has seen the jokes date badly, though the concept is one that could only work in the era the film is set.

Overall: Classic but dated comedy.