A Mall and a Movie: Monroeville Mall/Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

 

Monroeville Mall: the Zombiest mall of all.


Welcome back to a mall and a movie, with me, flannelkimono!

Today's movie is a personal favorite. Why, do you ask? I was in this movie! <3

I love Kevin Smith's movies. Many, many years ago, longtime homie and pop culture vulture SuperNoBueno used to work at a video store that I frequented. His staff picks were always solid, and that was how I saw Clerks for the first time.

Clerks blew my mind, because I was at the time toiling away in thankless retail jobs, and I couldn't believe how many "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" moments I would have at work. We also fucked off supremely at said retail jobs, just like in Clerks, although  nobody ever fucked a dead guy on the clock that I know of.

I was very active on the View Askew boards, because when I like something, I REALLY like it and want to know everything about it. The community of fans at the time were great, and I have always loved and appreciated how Kevin Smith has interacted with and treated his fans.

When he was shooting Zack and Miri in Pittsburgh, he posted on the message board that he was opening up one day of shooting at the mall for extras from the message board. I immediately requested the day off of work, and asked my sister to go with me. We worked together, and she called off to go with me, because why would we want to miss this opportunity? We left Akron when it  was still dark, and got to the mall. We were Christmas shoppers in a black Friday scene at the mall. Perfect, right?

 

WHAT MALL IS THE STAR OF THE MOVIE? 

Monroeville Mall, which was made famous Zach and Delaney work at the Bean n Gone coffee shop, which is located in a plaza near the mall. Miri works in the mall, which she mentions in the scene where she is trying on dresses for the class reunion (the dresses came from a girl who worked at Teen Juice, who Miri got a good deal on yarn). 

This is the mall made famous by George Romero's Dawn of the Dead, a movie I will eventually get to, I'm sure. 

There's really only one scene in the movie with the mall in it. You see a quick shot of the exterior, and then you're walking through the mall with Zack and Delaney. They end up on the escalator, and Delaney gives Zack the money he had saved to buy a big screen TV to buy a camera instead. My sister and I rode up behind them on that escalator a bunch of times. 

IS THE MALL STILL THERE? 

Monroeville Mall, as San Francisco International Airport in Mindhunter.

 

Yep! It was used recently in the show Mindhunter as a stand-in for an airport. I haven't been there since the day we did the movie, but as far as I know, it's still a fairly thriving mall in that area. 

IS THIS MOVIE ANY GOOD?

Yes. I love the sweetness of Zack and Miri's friendship, despite also being really really terrible at being adults. I also absolutely love a few of Smith's music choices: the scene where The Pixies "Hey" is playing rips my heart apart every single time. And the use of Live's "Hold Me Up" during the point of entry (so to speak) was really good, too.

The cast in general is really great. Craig Robinson is hilarious. The stand-out for me is Justin Long as Brandon St. Randy. So good.


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