Sidebar: Filmography of a bearded nerd with a beautiful wife

Clerks [1994]

Considered one of the most successful independent features ever, Smith’s debut was shot for $24,000 in the convenience store where he worked. Beloved by fans for its crude and hilarious dialogue and the interplay between slacker clerks Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson). [A-]

Mallrats [1995]

Smith’s first (and only) studio film, Mallrats was considered both a critical and financial disappointment. While the film features a lot of actors that never reappeared in Smith films (Shannon Doherty, Jeremy London and Claire Forlani), it also introduced Smith to future stars Jason Lee and Ben Affleck. [C+]

Chasing Amy [1997]

Widely considered the best film Smith has made, Chasing Amy returned him to his indie roots and re-teamed him with Affleck and Lee. Smith’s then-girlfriend Joey Lauren Adams was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as a lesbian woman who Affleck’s character falls for. [A]

Dogma [1999]

This satirical look at the Catholic Church generated controversy and good reviews. It also featured the largest cast Smith’s worked with, including big names like Chris Rock, George Carlin, Alan Rickman, Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek and Matt Damon–and a monster made of poo. [B]

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back [2001]

Originally planned as the last “Askewniverse” film, this one put Jay and Silent Bob centre stage as they trekked across the U.S., encountering an array of strange characters. Well-received by fans, it featured scene-stealing performances by Will Ferrell (as Federal Wildlife Marshall Willenholly) and Mark Hamill (as the Cock Knocker). [B-]

Jersey Girl [2004]

Unfortunately released during all the Bennifer hubbub, Jersey Girl ended up being critically panned despite the fact that Jennifer Lopez only appeared briefly. It’s also considered the most personal of all of Smith’s films, being centred around the relationship between a single father and his daughter. Despite this, it suffered from an abundance of sap, cliche and Affleck as one of his most annoying characters since Gigli. [D+]

Clerks 2 [2006]

Returning to his roots, Smith re-teamed with O’Halloran and Anderson and brought Rosario Dawson into the fold for the (probably) final Askewniverse film. The initial fan reaction was negative but the film got good reviews despite having the climax of a romantic subplot occur during a donkey sex show. [B]

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