Jeff Labrecque
September 17, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

How do you win back fans who fled Jersey Girl, the director’s uncharacteristically tame Ben Affleck flick? Releasing a 10th-anniversary three-disc edition of Clerks (R, 92 mins., 1994, Miramax), the vulgar opus where it all began, is a good start.

Any similarities between Clerks and Jersey Girl? They’re both sentimental and mushy at heart. Clerks just hides it under a thick armor of cynicism.

Would Clerks have looked better with a Jersey Girl budget? We would have spent the same amount and blown the rest on coke and whores. Part of the movie’s unique charm was that it did look like it was shot by a couple of chimps.

”Snowball Effect,” the documentary on the Clerks DVD, is outstanding. It cost, like, $200,000. The documentary about making Clerks -? which cost $28,000 ?- cost more than the movie.

And the biggest lesson of the past 10 years? If your leading man says, ”Hey, let’s cast my girlfriend,” you say, ”No.”

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