NextFlix: The Parking Lot Movie!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Parking Lot Movie!

First, a brief note about the lack of updates: sometimes Netflix goes through a drought and releases practically nothing I can recommend. I am still trying to come up with a good idea to keep the blog going during these dry spells. In other words, the blog isn't going anywhere. As proof, here's one I doubt you'll hear about anywhere else.

The Parking Lot Movie is not nearly as boring as its title suggests. This 2010 documentary is for anyone who has ever worked a job that they knew wasn't going anywhere. The kind of job where you spend most of your shift killing time. Most of all, it's for the people who've ever had to work a job where they were forced to interact with assholes. There is a scene in this movie where we bear witness to the single best tell-off I've ever seen. Watching it unfold, I felt a surge of joy rush through me. It made me want to travel back to my cashier days and give every last one of those bastards a piece of my mind. What makes it possible for these workers to do just that is one simple rule about parking lots: The customer is not always right. And so the employees are given free reign, more or less, to collect their dued amounts. This makes for good entertainment.

Prior to viewing, I was sucked in by a few reviews claiming this movie was a lot like a real-life Clerks. As it turns out, the claim is pretty damn accurate. You've got, as one character puts it, a group of otherwise unemployable misfits in, as another character puts it, a battle with humanity. Hell if that doesn't sum up Clerks, I don't know what does.

The Parking Lot Movie reaches a little higher though. The people who work there--many are grad students--are a little lost in life. They are poets and songwriters and dreamers, some all too aware that they are capable of something better. Some of them are incredibly spiteful, and perhaps a little too much of the movie consists of them bitching about people driving SUVs and kids with popped collars. Thankfully, their complaints are usually defined by an unflinching, often self-deprecating honesty.

The movie gets downright infectious when it focuses on the camaraderie between lot employees. At its most entertaining, you find yourself wishing you could spend a year or so working at the lot. You will want to play flip cone. You will want to pick the quote that ends up stenciled on the gate. You might even want to chase down a non-paying customer with a wrench! But you can't. Because in an ironic twist of sorts, we learn that you can't get this job. You have to know somebody. A little elitist, no?



  1. Oh my God, this looks absolutely hilarious. Added.

  2. Watched it last night - you are right this movie is pretty amazing. It sheds so much light on the humanity of these kinds of jobs; the ones society takes for granted and more or less craps on. I've always thought that everyone should have to wait tables for at least 6 months of their life. This movie tells you why.