Mallrats is actually my first Kevin Smith film. This is one of those films I wish I liked less than I do because it is pretty stupid, it inflicts a really doughy Ben Affleck on us, and it gets pretty campy and predictable in the end. It's not hard to see why critics hated it and theatre-goers didn't exactly fill the aisles to see it - the characters may be college age, but this really plays as a teen film, and the deserved R rating kept a good part of the target audience away.
After being dumped by their girlfriends, T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee) decide on a little mall therapy, and so the mallrat adventure begins. T.S. is rather annoying, actually, but Brodie is a great character - a flippant, constantly amusing wise-acre who is frighteningly intelligent in the most obscure of ways. His endless chatter would drive you crazy after a few hours, but, fortunately, you only have to spend an hour and a half with him in the movie. The girls, neither of whom is adequately developed as a character, are also at the mall - as are Jay and Silent Bob and other assorted oddballs. The guys are anxious to try and patch things up with their girls, but each one faces a major obstacle: for T.S., it is his girl's brutish father, while an almost unrecognizably doughy, unimpressive Ben Affleck is laying claim to the girl Brodie thinks is rightly his.
A boatload of hijinx and juvenile situations arise, sexual innuendoes dot the cinematic landscape, and a good time is had by all. There's nothing very original about the plot (apart from the dispensing of romantic advice from the lips of comics legend Stan Lee), but the film is continually entertaining throughout. It really comes down to Jason Lee; as far as I'm concerned, he carries the whole film on his back and almost single-handedly makes everything entertaining.