Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Double Date: Clerks

"I thought you were the only guy in the world that got me."
--Randall Graves, Clerks 2

A few of you told me to watch Clerks for an example of a romantic friendship.
So I watched Clerks and still didn't see it (whoa, it's in black and white, dudes!). The partnership between Randall and Dante seemed more like a friendship of convenience, the sort that you need to have to make retail life bearable. I didn't get the feeling that they'd stay together if they left their boring jobs.

I enjoyed the movie though, so I got Clerks 2, which is set ten years later. Randall and Dante are still together. 3/4 of the way through the movie, I still didn't get the romantic friendship vibe. But in the prison scene towards the end of the movie? There it was. And not just between Randall and Dante (the clerks in question), but also between Jay and Silent Bob, the odd-couple drug dealers that loiter throughout the movies. Jay and Bob definitely have an unconditional love for each other-- why else would you hang out for ten years with someone who never talked? In the end, it's a regular platonic love-fest. But as usual, it takes a jail cell confessional to bring all this to the surface. Also, consider the ending of Clerks 2. Would a woman ever be portrayed as making the same choice that Dante does in the movie?

My point behind asking that question is that it still seems to me that in male "buddy movies", women are present mostly as a divisive force. However, in similar female-led movies, the goal is usually to win the love of men, even if the friendship is maintained. This leads one to believe that men can get everything they need (except sex) within a friendship, but no matter what a female friendship is like, it's not enough. And I think, sadly, that most of us buy into that.

5 comments:

Ash-pants said...

have yet to see Clerks 2, but will now have an interesting angle to think about when i do...diggin' the blog...gives me something intelligent to read in between classes. (thank you)

also, miss you lots. love from Peru.

Becky said...

Hi Ily, I came over from AVEN. Love your blog!

I had to delurk to say I totally agree with what you're saying. Why is getting a man always the point? Like the female friendship is just some sort of life preserver you're hanging onto until you get rescued.

Ily said...

Ashley-- I'm really glad you're reading! America is not the same without you, just look at the economy...
Miss you too, of course.

Becky-- Thanks and trudat. Always happy to see someone delurk (although people are always welcome to lurk as well)!

Miriel said...

Hello! A lurker here. I've never seen either of the Clerks movies, so I can't really comment on them (though I agree about the presentations of men's vs. women's friendships). But if you want movies with romantic friendships, may I suggest Heavenly Creatures? (Assuming you haven't seen it already.) Okay, so it's a romantic friendship that goes horribly wrong towards the end, and the "friendship" part is a bit ambiguous, but still. It's a really good movie, too.

Ily said...

Hey Miriel, thanks for the comment! I always like a movie rec-- adding that one to my Netflix queue.