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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.73%
Worth A Look33.63%
Just Average33.63%
Pretty Crappy: 7.08%
Sucks: 15.93%

10 reviews, 53 user ratings

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Jersey Girl (2004)
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by Jay Seaver

"About average"
3 stars

Ben Affleck gets a bad rap. Certainly, he has become more known as a "celebrity" than an "actor" for the past six years or so, and a good chunk of the press for this movie has focused on his reputation (and that of a co-star). Combine that with his penchant for appearing in less-than-challenging movies, and a lot of people assume he's talentless and cast just for his looks. That's not the case; he is, in fact, a pretty decent actor when he gets good material. Fortunately, Kevin Smith frequently supplies him with good material.

Jersey Girl isn't Smith's best material, or Affleck's best performance. It's good, if not fantastic enough to justify the year I've been waiting for the end of his Spider-Man & Black Cat mini-series. That it's kept him from doing comics is somewhat fitting, since it's a more grounded, realistic movie than his recent Jay & Silent Bob-centered fare. There's nothing really outrageous in it, although it demonstrates that Smith can be funny without being shocking or bizarre. That's no small thing; that Smith manages to make a fairly entertaining movie out of such small, everyday things demonstrates real skill.

What Jersey Girl lacks is the energy of his earlier films. Where in his prior movies, Smith's characters sounded smart by what they said and how they said it, Ollie Trinke (Affleck) is supposed to be smarter than those around him for mocking "Cats". Other bits don't work as well as they should, either. In an early scene, as Ollie brings his wife into the hospital, it's perfectly clear what Smith is going for, but the scene falls flat. There are some attempts to recreate the witty, real sex talk of Chasing Amy, but it comes off as forced. It also seems more than a little inappropriate in a movie that, with its title and poster, has been sold as being about the relationship between Affleck's single father and his daughter. It's not; it's about Ollie letting go of his life as a single guy in the city and accepting that of a suburban family man. Gertie (Raquel Castro) is a major part of that, but not a dynamic part. Really, none of the characters but Ollie seem to grow or change throughout the movie. The effect is to make it appear that Ollie's a jerk for wanting more than living in his father's house, working on the road crew, and renting movies. I'm not sure that becoming a parent means your life should just stop.

This is coming off as more negative than it should. There's a really great scene toward the end of the movie, for example, but it's impossible to describe without spoiling it. Too bad, because it's got the best dialog in the film, and Smith shows great restraint in not following it up with another scene, which a lesser movie might have, that would make the ending less definitive.

The movie really has a strong final act; and a movie that ends well can be forgiven that it has a little trouble getting there.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8912&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/02/04 14:34:34
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/21/18 Suzanne The little girl was darling. 3 stars
4/09/10 art "JERSEY GIRL""WOW the next"GONE WITH THE WIND" 1 stars
12/31/09 Dane Youssef Unremarkable. Undistiguishable. Unnoticable. Nothing special. No effort is really made here 2 stars
3/23/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Wow, George Carlin can act 4 stars
8/01/07 gad nice 4 stars
5/13/07 David Pollastrini All the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
1/23/07 del Better than it has any right to be...certainly better than that piece of shit J&SBSTB. 4 stars
9/28/06 Annie I absolutely loved it!!! 5 stars
8/19/05 Carolyn Rathburn Absolutely love this one, a true "love story" for the little Gertie 5 stars
8/12/05 ES In the content that all women who love their fathers will cry watching this= great movie 4 stars
7/12/05 Jake A disappointing effort from Kevin Smith. 3 stars
6/20/05 Chelsea M A very Good movie 5 stars
4/27/05 Ashley G I think it was a pretty good movie 4 stars
1/18/05 Jeff Anderson KEVIN SMITH'S SWEETEST AND BEST WRITTEN FILM! Liv Tyler and Raquel Castro are outstanding!! 5 stars
12/14/04 Tom Benton Smith's worst film and a major disappointment, but all in all not a crap movie. 3 stars
12/06/04 Jason Kaul Much better than this review lets on. Kevin Smith's best work. Lots of heart. 4 stars
12/03/04 Pat F. Bravo to Smith & Co's 2d poignant/innovative peek into middle class Jerseyans of all ages. 4 stars
11/20/04 HL Nothin' Special - Lightly Entertaining.... 3 stars
11/13/04 Bryan Lee difficult to watch 1 stars
10/02/04 Alycen Entertaining - excellent music soundtrack! 4 stars
9/19/04 Elizabeth SAPPY. Prefer Smith with more cynicism but this was for his Dad. 2 stars
9/16/04 Herb Scannel Love K. Smith like no other, but this just wasn't for me. 3 stars
9/12/04 Phil M. Aficionado With Liv, who needs J-Lo? She did a great job. 4-F: "Fun formula film with feeling" 4 stars
8/29/04 Emmy WHAT!! this movie is funny as hell..watch Jay and slient j strike back then!! 4 stars
7/23/04 buddy garrett Ben Affleck fails miserably again 2 stars
7/17/04 legend Awful! Only reason to see this film is that J.Lo dies but Ben should go with her for this. 1 stars
6/16/04 Millie Maelstrom Early death of JLo's char. helps but can't save this sentimental schlock promoted as comedy 2 stars
5/12/04 Me Wheres Jay and Silent Bob when you need em? 2 stars
4/18/04 molly horrible 1 stars
4/14/04 Agent Sands Fuck you all in the face. Jersey Girl was really really cool. 5 stars
4/12/04 Mike V This man CAN'T direct! 2 stars
4/12/04 Michael Hatch I am a big fan of Kevin Smith and i think this is his best movie. 5 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 wasnt amazing but not too bad rent it, never understood the ben Hate 4 stars
4/05/04 Todd Bertuzzi This movie, like Affleck, is a lot better than most people give it credit for. V.Good! 5 stars
4/04/04 Uncle Salty Let me be witty... shit shit shit shit shit 1 stars
4/02/04 Amerigo Vespukey Cute kid? Yup. Next Affleck film: talking dog/baby, or freaky friday-esque body switch.... 1 stars
4/02/04 Death 2 Ben Affleck From Phantoms to Pearl Harbor to Gigli Ben Affleck has ruined one movie after another 1 stars
3/31/04 Charles Bryant A great, grown up feature that, while not perfect, is far smarter than many give it 4 stars
3/30/04 LoudChris Choppy, but heartfelt. Boaring. 2 stars
3/29/04 wampa1 hey kevin, if you have something meaningful stick to chasing amy meaningful, this sucks! 1 stars
3/29/04 empaler one of kevin smiths best 5 stars
3/28/04 AfroFett Average acting in an average movie. eh... 3 stars
3/28/04 Larry The dialogue in this movie was as "crisp" as a wet noodle. IT SUCKS! 1 stars
3/27/04 Marion Verhulst I love the movieM 4 stars
3/27/04 ajay This was like a boring movie with some Kevin Smith-isms rather then a *real* KS movie. 3 stars
3/26/04 Bored to Tears A manipulative suckfest. Looks like an amateur made this crap. 1 stars
3/25/04 Brian meh.... 2 stars
3/24/04 Shelley Shea Affleck gets one more chance. 4 stars
3/24/04 Ben Affleck sucks Now he's being out-acted by a 9 year old. Stop giving this talentless assclown 3 movies/yr 1 stars
3/23/04 Leslie Lato Touches the heart. 5 stars
3/22/04 Carver S. utter crap 1 stars
3/22/04 Brian A wonderful film, plain and simple. 5 stars
3/22/04 Tagaru Lee A movie filled with sweetness and a renewed appreciation of those that you love 5 stars
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  26-Mar-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 05-Apr-2011



Directed by
  Kevin Smith

Written by
  Kevin Smith

  Ben Affleck
  Liv Tyler
  George Carlin
  Jason Biggs
  Stephen Root
  Jennifer Lopez

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