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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film is not for kids. The dialogue is rife with obscenities (over 130 f-words, to start), as well sexual talk (including references to oral sex, bestiality, masturbation, homosexuality, and pornography) and brief images (tongue-kissing, visual suggestion of a man about to masturbate and then penetrate a donkey). A fast-food clerk urinates and puts flies in customer's food. Characters are arrested for hiring/watching a bestiality act.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Like the first movie (href="/reviews/review.php?id=3844&type=Video%2FDVD"> Clerks), the sequel takes place over one day. Now in their 30s, Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) work at a fast food joint, where Randal mentors younger coworker Eli (Trevor Fehrman) about sex and movies. Dante is engaged to Emma (Jennifer Schwalbach) and about to move to Florida to work for her father, and also attracted to his current boss at Mooby's, Becky (Rosario Dawson). The sequel focuses on conversation -- speedy, competitive banter. As before, Dante and Randal spar energetically, while other characters are shaped in lively language, including Jay (Jason Mewes) and (mostly) Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), and the briefly appearing customers played by Wanda Sykes, Jason Lee, and Ben Affleck. When Randal gives Dante a farewell party with a sex-with-a-donkey show, Eli drinks too much, the cops show up, Emma and Becky face off, and the clerks plus Jay and Silent Bob end up in a jail cell, where Dante and Randal finally find a way to make their friendship work.
Is it any good?
Essentially repeating the successful formula of the original, CLERKS II expands the universe of its titular heroes to include marriage and children. That's not to say that Dante and Randal grow up, exactly. But they are in their 30s now, and at least thinking about rethinking their life choices. It's telling that Emma does not engage in the film's many pithy, earnest debates over movies, sexual positions, religion, racism, and romantic love versus pragmatic life choices.
This last is the primary point of connection and contention between Becky and Dante, unable to admit they're in love with each other, even as each dreads his move to Florida with Emma. He displaces his worry onto being able to dance at his wedding, which allows for a surprisingly charming sequence (in sharp contrast to Randal's twisted farewell party). Becky teaches Dante to dance as a boombox plays the Jackson Five's "ABC" on Mooby's roof. The music touches everyone, leading to a sweetly choreographed group number.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the "buddy movie" genre. Why do so many films celebrate the slacker lifestyle and men behaving immaturely? Are these characters likeable? They can also talk about the movie's over-the-top gross-out humor and where the line is between silly and offensive.
- In theaters: July 21, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: November 28, 2006
- Cast: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson
- Director: Kevin Smith
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: for pervasive sexual and crude content including aberrant sexuality, strong language and some drug material.