Jersey Girl (2004 movie)

From Academic Kids

Jersey Girl is writer/director Kevin Smith's first "grown-up" film outside his "viewaskewniverse" or "Jersey Trilogy" that encompassed his first five films and centered on stoner layabouts Jay and Silent Bob.

Plot outline

Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) is a powerful media publicist in New York City, who loses his wife (Jennifer Lopez) in childbirth. To avoid his grief, Trinke buries himself in his work and ignores his new daughter, Gertie; leaving her in the care of his father (George Carlin). His father finally forces Trinke to live up to his responsibility as a parent. Under the stress of job and fatherhood, Trinke lashes out in front of a room full of reporters. The public outburst costs Trinke his job and he is forced to move in with his father in New Jersey. Trinke is humbled by the experience and finally looks upon his daughter with approval and conviction.

Now blacklisted by all the New York public relations fims, Trinke has tried unsucessfully for years to get work as a publicist. He finally takes work as a civil servant in the borough where he now lives to get by. Gertie (Raquel Castro), now in elementary school, often coaxes her father to rent movies to watch. At the video store, they meet Maya (Liv Tyler), one of the store's clerks. Maya soon becomes a good friend and part of their lives.

As part of his job in the borough, Trinke finds he has to speak to a group of outraged citizens to win over their approval for a major public works project he proposes that will temporarily close a street in the neighborhood. He is successful and realizes how much he misses the public relations work. He contacts Arthur (Jason Biggs), his onetime co-worker, who sets up a promising interview.

The real prospect of moving to New York creates tension between Trinke and his daughter, his father and Maya, but Trinke is absolutely resolved to regain his old status. However, while waiting to be interviewed, Trinke has a chance encounter with Will Smith (playing himself), who Trinke had trashed at his public outbust years before. Smith has no idea who Trinke is but their conversation about work and children makes Trinke decide to sacrifice the former for the latter. Trinke is able to make to his daughter's musical performance at the last second (she was assigned to do a musical number, which, as it turned out, was the only one not to be "Memories" from Cats)

Critical response

The critics were generally unimpressed with the film and seemed incensed that "maverick" director Kevin Smith had gone "mainstream." The film was not a commercial success at the box office either.

Smith has blamed at least part of the film's reception on public exhaustion from the Lopez-Affleck romance and their widely-panned previous joint venture Gigli.

Some critics of Smith see the negative reaction on the film as the reason for his quick retreat back to the View Askewniverse with "Clerks 2", but that screenplay had been floating around for some time before "Jersey Girl" premiered.

External links

Template:Kevin Smithde:Jersey Girl


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