30 January 1995

Mallrats (1995)

Generation X would have to be the most over-determined, self-reflexive and onanistic demographic since the last one, the Boomers, whom all devout Xer’s openly despise but secretly envy. To this reviewer’s great relief, Mall Rats isn't another world-weary rumination on the nihilistic collective consciousness of a disinherited Generation X.
Instead, tyro writer/director Kevin Smith, the uncanny X-er who made such a critical splash with the super low-budget Clerks, wants to be the John Hughes of the nineties. This is no slur.
With Mall Rats Smith produces a worthy successor to such 80s teen movie benchmarks as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Valley Girl and Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. His formula of dry, witty repartee drenched in a self-reflexive solution of pop culture references has been augmented this time round with a heavy dose of slapstick. It’s not everyone’s schtick, but I laughed.