Wednesday 26th January 2022

Jersey Girl (12A)
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz
" after mummy appeared in Gigli, her film career died..."
" after mummy appeared in Gigli, her film career died..."

Writer/director Kevin Smith's latest film has received more than its fair share of attention, not because of its quality, nor because it is such a break from his usual material, but because two of its cast members are Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.

Affleck plays Ollie Trinke, a high-flying New York executive in the world of PR and Lopez plays his wife. Unfortunately, within the first few minutes of the film, his wife dies giving birth to their first child, and the ensuing emotional break down causes Trinke to lose his job and move back to New Jersey to live with his father. The rest of the film is a fairly emotional comedy, in which Affleck struggles to get his old life back while also embracing his new circumstances.

Kevin Smith has made some amazing films in his fairly brief career, including Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy, but he is probably most famous for his 1999 religious comedy Dogma. His films are recognisable by their sharp, if unusual, humour and are usually set in something called the Askewniverse – where all the characters and storylines co-exist and tie together. This movie, however, is not set in the Askewniverse (although it is still set in New Jersey) and the feel of the movie is very different from anything he has done before.

Apart from the occasional strong language, it's a much more family-orientated film and you get the impression that the subject matter is closely based on Smith's own experiences both as a father and a son. Smith again manages to bring out the best in Ben Affleck, especially when you consider the string of mediocre performances in Affleck's recent back catalogue. The story is at times quite moving and upsetting, but you may feel that much of the ground has already been covered in films like Jack & Sarah and in many ways covered with more finesse.

In short, this is a real departure for Smith and while there is not too much wrong with it, the finished result is a fairly forgettable, not terribly funny, not too emotional story that fails to really assert itself upon any genre. Fans of Kevin Smith's previous films will be sorely disappointed.

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Length: 102 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 18th June 2004

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