Monday, September 5, 2016


Welcome to another installment of the TRASH BIN, where we watch the worst movies Hollywood has to offer, according to the critics, and give you our thoughts, good and bad. This week's pick is Kevin Smith's JERSEY GIRL.

I, personally, loved this film. But l love everything by Kevin Smith, especially Clerks, so I'm a little biased. Jersey Girl stars Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, George Carlin, and Jennifer Lopez. Affleck plays a music promoter named Ollie Trinke who loses his wife Gertrude, played by Lopez, during childbirth. His life and career go into a downward spiral as he tries to balance that career with raising a newborn daughter.

This is a story of redemption. Through his journey, Ollie learns to appreciate his role as a father, and his dating life also improves. He discovers there's more to life than just fancy suits and celebrities, there's family. My favorite scene of the movie is when his daughter, Gertie, catches him in the shower with Maya the video store girl, played by Liv Tyler, and lectures him, just as he did to her earlier in the film. Raquel Castro, who plays Gertie, performed this scene perfectly.

I think Raquel did a great job playing Gertie. She and Affleck had great chemistry on-screen as father and daughter. Affleck was a great casting choice for Ollie because he had a redeemable quality that allows the audience to want him to succeed.  Liv Tyler was adorable as Maya. She also has great on-screen chemistry with Affleck, which was first seen in Armageddon. And the incredible George Carlin's performance as Bart, Ollie's father was so heartfelt. He lets Ollie grieve for his wife by taking time off work to care for Gertie, and you instantly love him as a character. This was actually Carlin's third time in a Kevin Smith film, as he played the Cardinal in Dogma and a hitchhiker in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.

Kevin Smith did a great job writing the script for this film. He's proven his talent time and again, and this is no different. Jersey Girl is a great movie, however, nothing can surpass Clerks. This is Smith's first film that doesn't have appearances by his iconic weed dealing duo, Jay & Silent Bob. Smith was trying to grow as a writer and director with this film, moving beyond what he calls the "View Askewniverse", and I truly think he succeeded.

The hype over J-Lo and Affleck's relationship at the time definitely didn't help the film garner a new audience. That's why I think Lopez shouldn't have been cast at all. Also, the relationship between Ollie and Maya was pretty superficial. It would have been interesting to see their relationship develop more.

Overall, I thought the movie was sweet and Affleck pulled off the role as a father very well. Sometimes the critics have a different view of a film than the general public does. Some critics thought the film had too many clich├ęs, however, even Roger Ebert commended Smith for trying something different in his film career, and even gave the film 3.5 stars.


Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Metacritic: 43
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4


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