Saturday, March 27, 2004

Jersey Girl review
I admit, I'm biased. I adore all of Kevin Smith's movies, and this was no exception. Given how sappy the previews make it look (I guess trying to market to a Britney-lovin, glitter-adorning teen market), I was glad that "Walkin' On Sunshine" was not in the soundtrack.

It's obvious Kevin has evolved in his filmmaking, as well as in his personal life. He has run the gament from hermaphroditic porn and fart jokes to comic book worship, lipstick lesbians, and pot smoking anthems. We love him for it. And then there is this movie, a complex film about relationships between fathers and their children. Kevin has been married for a few years and has a daughter of his own. Also, Kevin's dad died this year, and if you know the back story, it makes watching the film that more poignant.

Ben Affleck stars as Ollie, a widower raising his daughter in New Jersey, after he is ostracized from New York after a huge snafu in his public relations job. Ollie and his daughter Gertie live with Ollie's father, "Pop," played exceptionally well by George Carlin. Gertie and Pop love New Jersey life, but Ollie is itching to return to the city and to the success he once had. Usually, I find Ben's characters to be massive tools (think misguided and close-minded Holden McNeil in Chasing Amy) but, even though Ollie has his rather hideous moments (such as calling his 8-year-old a "little shit"), Affleck portrays him as sympathetic and likeable. The writing is sharp and the delivery is great from all the actors. Gertie's mom, played by Jennifer Lopez, is killed off in the first 10 minutes of the film, and it's rather interesting to watch the scenes between Lopez and Affleck post-Bennifer (the love scenes appear a bit fake). And I wish Liv Tyler had a bigger role. Other than that, it's a nice movie one could watch repeatedly. I probably will.

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