Perhaps it was the lingering nostalgia surrounding the recent 10th anniversary of indieWIRE that lead me to want to see “Clerks 2” on opening night at the Angelika Film Center (I’d missed the film in Cannes and other than Joel Siegel, had heard pretty good things about it). Much to my surprise, the place was a ghost town on Friday night at 7 p.m. and the screening was only about half full (a small group of what seemed to be Kevin Smith loyalists had arrived early to get good seats, Brian, Mark and I sat right in front of them).
It was somehow fitting that our attempt to recapture the mid-90s NYC indie film experience was a bust. But, the film was not. In addition to being one of the more all-around entertaining movies I’ve seen in awhile, “Clerks 2” is also a poignant exploration of thirty-somethings grappling with truly growing up. Interestingly, friends and colleagues who liked “Clerks” when it debuted in the mid-90s now have little interest in the movie, perhaps thinking that they’ve matured and moved on, while Kevin Smith still seems stucks in the past. In fact, Kevin Smith is digging into some of those very issues — asking some tough questions and finding some difficult answers. Films such as “Before Sunset” and “Sideways” (and now “The Puffy Chair“) have been hailed for their perceptive looks at modern characters struggling with maturity; “Clerks 2” is equally sharp, and worth equal consideration.