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Kevin Smith Reveals Why Clerks 2's Ending Is Sadder Than You Thought

The "Clerks" movies might be known for their R-rated humor and many pop culture references but they're also considered seminal films for a reason. In 1994, Clerks dramatized one day in the lives of its heroes, convenience store clerk Dante and video store clerk Randal. On the surface, it's a mundane "day in the life" tale. But Dante and Randal's frustration at the meaninglessness of their day-to-day lives spoke to a disaffected Generation X, and in 2019 the Library of Congress opted to preserve "Clerks" for its cultural relevance.

"Clerks II," released in 2006, might not have become a generation-defining film like its predecessor, but it still struck an emotional chord. Set ten years after the first film, "Clerks II" finds Randal contemplating moving away from New Jersey to get married in Florida. Meanwhile, after the Quick Stop convenience store burns down, Dante is forced to get a job in fast food. Randal's impending move strains their friendship. In the end, though, the two pals reunite and buy the rebuilt Quick Stop.

Directorhttps://www.nickiswift.com/218526/heres-how-much-kevin-smith-is-really-worth/ is currently filming "Clerks III," and it sounds like it will be just as emotionally deep as the first two "Clerks" movies. And in an interview with Vanity Fair about the sequel, Smith explained why the ending of "Clerks II" wasn't quite as happy as it seemed.

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life" can mean all sorts of things

In both "Clerks" movies, Smith uses color or the lack thereof to evoke certain moods. The entirety of "Clerks" was filmed in black and white, reflecting the drabness of Dante and Randal's lives. "Clerks II" was filmed mostly in color, reflecting the newfound hope they had for their futures. But at the end, "Clerks II" shifts back to black-and-white. "In the last shot they're in the store that they now own, masters of their own destiny, and as we pull back, it goes from color back to black and white because, you know, you have to be careful what you wish for," Smith explained. "Those dudes are like, 'Yeah, man, now we own the store!' But they're still at the store."

In other words, buying the store is a win for Dante and Randal, but it's also a kind of loss. It might not be as bleak as Smith's original idea for the ending of "Clerks," in which he killed off Dante. But it's still no happy ending. Smith went on to say that "Clerks III" opens on an even bigger downer than the ending of "Clerks II," picking up 15 years later with nothing changed.

But that doesn't mean "Clerks III" will be a depressing slog. Early on in the movie, Dante and Randal come up with a way to give their lives a little more meaning: by making a "Clerks"-style movie about themselves. According to Smith, "We take Randal, a motherf***er who wears cynicism on his sleeve, and we turn him into a dreamer."

The "Clerks" movies have always been about Dante and Randal trying to find happiness when life tries its best to make them miserable. The ending of "Clerks II" saw Dante and Randal at one of their lowest points, even if they didn't fully realize it. But it sounds like "Clerks III" will be a bit more uplifting. At least for a "Clerks" movie, anyway.