Jersey Girl

"Good"

Jersey Girl Review


Kevin Smith grows up. The writer/director from Red Bank, N.J., temporarily retires his trademark Silent Bob shtick for Jersey Girl, which sticks to a cute but overused plotline, occasionally branching out to include a few (but not enough) sarcastic observations addressing parenthood.

Though it wasn't pre-planned, Smith's film also puts the final nail in the "Bennifer" coffin then begins the resurrection process on Ben Affleck's floundering, Gigli-ravaged career. For the first time in a long while Affleck carries a decent picture, making a stronger connection to Smith's casual dialogue than he does with any of his co-stars.

Hollywood's favorite hunk of wood plays music publicist Ollie Trinke, a Manhattan mover and shaker whose life detours after his wife (Jennifer Lopez) dies giving birth to the couple's daughter, Gertie. Ollie attempts to soldier through, but an on-the-job blunder costs him his cushy gig and sets up a running Will Smith gag that has a satisfying payoff. He moves back to New Jersey with his blue collar father (George Carlin), where he learns to accept his parental responsibilities and become the man Gertie needs him to be.

Jersey gets off to a strong start. Smith writes very well for his longtime leading man, and Affleck sells Ollie's self-centered tendencies better than he does the inevitable sentimental transformation. Ben is most comfortable when he's the sole focus of a scene, so his interactions with love interest Liv Tyler and feisty daughter Raquel Castro are flat. When Affleck selfishly argues with young Gertie about how much he misses his old lifestyle, though, we believe him and feel the pain of his loss.

It's worth mentioning that Jersey is a better looking film than Smith's previous archaic efforts. With legitimate cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond in tow, Smith experiments with edits, camera pans, wipes, and fades. From a technical standpoint, Jersey is Smith's Titanic, without all that pesky ice and water.

His screenwriting skills, though, still need polish. Smith's comments on parenting are insightful, but he's not focused enough to tackle those issues without avoiding after-school special territory. The conflicts facing these characters are recognizable, their resolutions predictable. Smith intentionally tones down his trademark vulgarity to bring his message to the PG-13 crowd, and slices the cherished edge off his voice in the process.

The DVD includes two feature commentaries (one from a relatively unapologetic Smith and Affleck, one from Smith, producer Scott Mosier, and oddball addition Jason Mewes), plus various behind-the-scenes extras.

Lovin' on Liv.



Jersey Girl

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th March 2004

Box Office USA: $25.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $36.1M

Budget: $35M

Distributed by: Mirimax Films

Production compaines: Close Call Films, Miramax Films, View Askew Productions, Beverly Detroit

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 70 Rotten: 101

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Ollie Trinke, as Gertie Trinke, as Maya, as Gertrude Steiney, as Bart Trinke, as Susan, as Himself, as Greenie, as Block, as Arthur Brickman

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.