Friday, December 10, 2004

This had better be good

The Hollywood Reporter reports (as it is wont to do) that Kevin Smith will write and direct a sequel to his low-budget success story Clerks, called The Passion of the Clerks. It will revisit those twenty-something losers Dante and Randal ten years later.

Clerks is one of my favorite movies, not because I think it's got the world's best writing, acting, directing, cinematography--does it have cinematography?--but because it makes me happy. I plop it in the DVD player whenever I'm feeling under the weather or just generally sub-par. There's something about it that connects to me at the level that's just me.

The Passion of the Clerks will be the second ten-year follow-up to a Gen-X talky classic. Earlier this year Richard Linklater released Before Sunset, a sequel to 1995's charming and romantic Before Sunrise. In it, former lovers Celine and Jesse meet up for another nine-hour series of chats, with Paris as the pretty background this time instead of Vienna.

Is it me, or is my generation a more contemplative one than most? Why are we always examining and reexamining our lives for some hidden meaning? Why can't we be like the Baby Boomers, who fought for and believed in righteous causes and oozed idealism (until they turned into Yuppies hanging Baby on Board signs on their Beemers)? Or those mega-practical Generation Y kids, raised basking in the peace and prosperity of the Clinton years, who couldn't trouble themselves with aspirations more meaningful than landing a business/computer job with five weeks' vacation and a free gym membership (remember the plush benefit packages of the 90's)?

Why are we alone the cynical, aimless, eternal teenagers? Can you even imagine a Gen X president? His or her State of the Union addresses would make Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech sound like the Howdy Doody theme song.

"The State of our Union is, well, let's be honest--it needs work."

Anyway, I'm sure The Passion of the Clerks will shed some light on all these questions and more. Dante and Randal won't let us down.

*Lest there be any misunderstanding: I love my generation. I think we're the funniest, best-educated, most philosophically advanced generation since the Enlightenment--and that one only included rich white men, so it doesn't count.

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Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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