IMDb; Kevin Smith Wiki; Movies Anywhere; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Universal; View Askew; Wikipedia
So, this came out in 1995, the year after Clerks. Which makes it the second entry in the View Askewniverse. (Though according to the interwebs it takes place the day before Clerks; it alludes to a girl who died, who had a funeral in Clerks, though I wouldn't have known they were the same person without reading it online. I don't remember names, especially of non-characters who are only mentioned in passing. Btw, is "passing" a poor choice of words? Sorry.) Anyway, I first saw it in 1999, possibly after seeing the third movie in the franchise, and definitely after the first. I think. (Though it's really not important to watch any of them in order.) That (1999) was the same year the fourth movie, "Dogma," came out, but now I don't remember whether I saw this before that or vice versa (I'm pretty sure I saw Dogma in the theater with my girlfriend at the time, and a friend of hers, and I'm sure we all watched Mallrats on like VHS together). I also don't remember how much I liked this movie at the time; but almost certainly less than I liked it when I watched it for the second time, in 2013. I still don't like it nearly as much as Clerks, but it was pretty good. Of course, you can totally tell it's a Kevin Smith movie. The main characters talk with the same sort of crude eloquence I mentioned in my review of Clerks. And of course there are plenty of pop culture references, a love of stuff like Star Wars and comic books and whatnot. Stan Lee even has a bigger role in this than I think I've ever seen in any movie where he cameos.
So. There's this guy named Brodie (Jason Lee), who gets dumped by his girlfriend, Rene (Shannen Doherty). He's friends with a guy named T.S. (Jeremy London), who also gets dumped by his girlfriend, Brandi (Claire Forlani). (The four of them are all college-age, though I don't think Brodie was in college.) Anyway, Brodie and T.S. go to hang out at the mall for the day. There's a store manager there named Shannon (Ben Affleck) who hates Brodie, and vice versa. And eventually it turns out he's started dating Rene. Also it turns out that Brandi's father, who I guess produces a dating game show, is staging the latest episode of his show at the mall. Brandi's going to be on the show, replacing the girl who died. Brandi's dad totally hates T.S., and is glad they've broken up. Anyway, Brodie and T.S. meet up with Jay and Silent Bob (who are like the common thread between all the View Askew movies), and ask them to sabotage the game show. Their attempts fail amusingly, but later they'll help Brodie and T.S. replace a couple of the contestants on the show. But before that, there's just all sorts of crazy stuff going on. And various secondary characters, including a 15-year-old girl named Tricia, who was working on this book documenting, um... sexual stuff. Highly inappropriate. And there's a girl named Gwen (played by Joey Lauren Adams, who would star in the next View Askew movie, "Chasing Amy," though playing a different character). She used to date T.S., and um... she's involved in a running gag with Silent Bob's failed attempts to ruin the game show. And stuff. And at one point, Brodie and T.S. visit a topless fortuneteller named Miss Ivannah. And there's a guy named Willam who's constantly trying and failing to to see the hidden sailboat in a Magic Eye picture, which frustrates him terribly. Oh, and there's a third contestant on the game show named Gil Hicks. I thought he looked familiar, but couldn't place him. Turns out he's played by Brian O'Halloran, who played Dante Hicks in "Clerks." I'm guessing the characters are related.
Anyways, hell, I dunno what else to say. It's just a smart and funny and stupid movie. And sort of weirdly romantic, I guess. And fun. (Of course, the toplessness of a couple of the girls embarrasses me considerably less if I watch it alone rather than with friends, but it still embarrasses me. I think I'm slightly better at getting past that than I probably was in 1999, though.)