Jersey Girl

GROWING UP ISN’T THAT BAD… I GUESS.

Well crap, I’ve only been at this thing for a couple of months now and I’ve already broken my rule of adding new crap every 48 hours. Give me a break people, your friendly neighborhood Geek was feeling a tad under the weather. While recovering I decided I needed some fresh air. I left my basement, went outside, and headed for the theater. Hey, to a Geek like me the scent of stale popcorn and musty seats IS fresh air. What to see, what to see? Well, I had my choice of Jesus, zombies, a little girl, a CGI dog, and Tom Hanks. Always wanting to support my own on opening weekend I put down my $8.50 and sat down to watch me some Jersey Girl…


Before I delve into the details let me get this out right now. I LOVE Kevin Smith! Even when he bombs (Mallrats, Clerks – The Animated Series) I love him. I have full on fan-boy blinders “he can do no wrong” type love. That doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge his faults (camera skills anyone), or the fact that his latest issue of Spiderman / Black Cat is TENS MONTHS late; I just don’t care. I love the chubby bastard. Period! He has made a living telling stories, bringing his love of comics and pop culture to the masses and married a woman who is both talented and posed naked in Playboy with Superman! Folks, how can I NOT love him?! He’s my successful twin brother… So, with that out of the way let me say this about Jersey Girl…

LOVED IT!

I won’t bother with giving the full plot breakdown, as most folks who read this site should know the story by now. But just in case. Ben is uber-career man. Ben meets woman. Ben and woman marry. They have child. Ben’s loses woman but gains wonderful daughter. Child rearing wackiness ensues. Ben has to choose between family or career. Gee, what do you think he chooses? I’ll admit that Jersey Girl is a walking clich?. But, it works and it works really well.

This felt like less of a movie and more like a long love letter from Kevin to his young daughter. This isn’t some sappy Hallmark card put to celluloid. You can see the real emotion behind the words that Kevin has written. I don’t think Jersey Girl is Kevin’s sharpest writing that honor falls to Chasing Amy, but it’s darn close.

I’ve said it before and I shall say it again, Ben Affleck is never better then when he is saying Kevin’s words. There was a time when I wanted to hate Affleck, but once you watch the Mallrats commentary (or any View Askew commentary really) I found myself hard pressed to NOT love Ben. Ben and Kevin just have the thing that only good friends have. It’s gotten to the point that watching Ben and Kevin together is like hanging with old friends. Good times folks! George Carlin has some good moments and has without a doubt one of the most touching (and subtle) scenes in recent movie history. It’s no Samwise on Mount Doom, but it’s close. Liv Tyler is believable as the small town video store clerk. Although I wonder where I can rent some videos and see someone like Steven Tyler’s daughter… Good God it hurts to look upon such beauty. The stand out performance however MUST go to the young Raquel Castro as Ben’s young daughter. Attention George Lucas, next time you need to cast a child actor please for the love of God ask Kevin Smith for help! Ms. Castro is sweet, touching, and has a future in Hollywood if she continues to give performances like the one in Jersey Girl. She made this Geek laugh, cringe, and even cry a little. Good stuff.

In the end Jersey Girl is nothing like Kevin Smith has ever done. It suggests a slightly more mature and adult Kevin Smith. It shows me what happens when a Geek grows up a little bit. The dick and fart jokes are still there, but they are more family friendly as your run of the mill “poo-poo and pee-pee” giggles. Kevin’s love for Star Wars and comics are still there; you just have to pay more attention. If this is what growing up looks like then I guess I don’t mind giving it a shot…

Now bring on The Green Hornet