Jersey Girl (2004)

jersey girl poster 2004 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Nice to have a break from Kevin Smith's normal style

Really dull and predictable story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Jersey Girl

Studio:  View Askew Productions

Genre(s):  Drama/Comedy/Romance

Release Date(s):  March 26, 2004

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


We’ve got to get you out of this movie…fast! Start pushing!

Ollie Trinké (Ben Affleck ) and his wife Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez) have what may be a perfect life.  They are young, wealthy, and expecting their first child.  Ollie is a big executive in a firm representing celebrities and a rising star within the business.  When Gertrude dies in childbirth, Ollie is fired and forced to raise his child himself…which also means moving in with his father Bart (George Carlin) in New Jersey.  Six years later, Ollie is getting second chance.  He meets a woman named Maya (Liv Tyler) and finds a potential job back “in the business”, but his daughter Gertie (Raquel Castro) might not want the life Ollie has dreamed of returning to.

Written and directed by Kevin Smith, Jersey Girl was a romantic-comedy drama and showed a break from Smith’s View Askew Universe.  The movie was a financial failure and received mixed to negative reviews from critics.  The movie was nominated for three Razzies for Worst Actor (Affleck along with Surviving Christmas), Worst Supporting Actress (Lopez), and Worst Screen Couple (Affleck and either Lopez or Tyler).


A carriage ride with no ironic banter or the horse pooping, Kevin Smith?

If you watched Jersey Girl and didn’t know Jersey Girl was a Kevin Smith movie, you might not realize it (other than the appearance of many regular actors from his films).  Subdued and lacking any distinctive Kevin Smith style, Jersey Girl is a real departure for Smith.  The problem with Jersey Girl isn’t the lack of Smith’s humor, but the fact that Smith painted a really, really dull and predictable story.

The movie instantly had problems.  The “Bennifer” combination had failed with Gigli and Smith was forced to reedit the film to limit Jennifer Lopez’s involvement.  The set-up for the story was shortened, and it gets right into the plot (which might have been a blessing)…but everything unfolds exactly how you would expect it to.  There are no surprises and very little fun (except a kid homage to Sweeney Todd).


You think I, Robot sucks? Wait ’til you hear the reaction about this movie!

Ben Affleck was forced to act…a lot.  The scenes between Affleck and Raquel Castro are actually not that bad and he does play a realistic (begrudging) father.  Likewise, Castro is a pretty decent child actor who demonstrates the typical child quivering lip and wide eye looks.  Jennifer Lopez barely has any scenes but Liv Tyler also really struggles in her rather small role.  George Carlin is a good grumpy grandpa and you get a small role by Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood regular Lady Aberlin (Betty Aberlin) as a nun.  The movie’s cameo featuring of Will Smith as himself is probably one of the better scenes (and that is coming from a non-Will Smith fan).  Kevin Smith’s Jason Mewes doesn’t appear in the film because Smith replaced him to try to force him into getting help with his drug addiction.


This is a pretty elaborate stage set-up for a elementary school one-song performance…

Visually, the movie also is very standard.  It almost plays out as a Hallmark film.  The Sweeney Todd stuff is kind of fun, but Smith could have pushed it farther, but of course if he did, it might have just felt like the play from The Addams Family movie.  I liked the New York City portion the best because he did make the city look nice.

Jersey Girl is on the verge of working.  I really wish that the plot hadn’t been so standard and predictable because it was interesting to see Smith reign himself in (which in general is something he needs to do in most of his movies).  Smith returned to his roots after this movie with a sequel to his first film Clerks II in 2006.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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