Jersey Girl Kevin Smith

Jersey Girl Kevin Smith
Grappling with the overwhelming repercussions of Gigli (Jersey Girl was the second, and last movie to feature Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez) and Smith's new, more mature, "less dick and fart-oriented" direction, it's amazing Jersey Girl managed not be another Gigili-sized disaster. It is unquestionably a better film but for fans of Smith's storytelling (Dogma), poignant (if overly long) conversationally dialogue (Clerks, Chasing Amy) and humour (Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Jersey Girl is without question a frustrating affair. It features not enough of Smith's strengths and too many weaknesses of the romantic comedy. Affleck (who always does his best work with Smith) plays Oliver Trinke, a star publicist in NYC who loses his job, the love of his life (Lopez) and is forced to move back to New Jersey with his newborn baby girl into his father's house (played but the gruff but always watchable George Carlin). Years pass (the movie starts off set in '91 and finishes towards the end of the '90s) and Affleck works for the city but dreams of regaining his old NYC existence. Complicating matters after he's offered a chance to regain his former life is a potential romance with a liberal video store clerk (Liv Tyler without the Elf ears) and his daughter's desire to stay in New Jersey. Will Ollie choose the love of his daughter, father and potential new girlfriend or his formerly dead career? If it was the old Smith, Ollie would date a lesbian or fight a rubber poop monster, but the outcome is never in doubt. Fans of Smith know he still remembers how to do DVD right, and Jersey Girl (while lacking the massive deleted scenes of previous Smith fare) features two commentaries (the Affleck one where they discuss J-Lo, critics and even Gigli may be the best), an interview with Affleck and Smith (where they bicker entertainingly) and his sometimes funny "Roadside Attractions" segments from Leno. Hell, Jason Mewes even drops by because, well, what else is he going to do? While the recent announcement of a Clerks sequel isn't unexpected, it does place Jersey Girl in a weird context, a one-off, instead of a new direction. Like they say, the less one makes declarative statements, the less likely one will look foolish in retrospect. Plus: "behind the scenes" featurette, text interviews. (Alliance Atlantis)