Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Week of Kevin Smith, Part One - "Jersey Girl"

Alright, readers! I will be doing seven days of Kevin Smith movies, starting with my least favorite film, and ending with my favorite. So, here comes ten reviews in seven days! I hope you enjoy!

Let's start off with;

Jersey Girl!



Okay, some of you might be thinking, "How is this not Cop Out?" Fair question I suppose, but one that I answer thus; I actually like Cop Out. Yeah, I know it's not great. But it makes me smile.

Jersey Girl on the other hand... I really don't like it. It's the only Kevin Smith film I don't like. Which is kind of sad, because it's not a terrible film by any stretch. Horribly generic, but not horrible, if you understand me. It's a basic story. Ben Affleck plays a single father after his wife dies during labor.

The bulk of the movie deals with Affleck trying to find his lot in life after he blows up and loses his job. It's sweet for the most part, and Affleck is believable, though generally outshone by the rest of the cast, but this is not the kind of movie that plays to Kevin Smith's strengths.

Where Smith really shines is in his writing. And when he directs a film that caters to his writing, it really works. Smith strives in the idea of the observational. Be it the episodic vignettes of the original Clerks. to the window into the horrifying reality of Red State, when Kevin Smith lets us look at the people in his worlds and watch with him, we have a good time. (Well, we probably don't have a good time in Red State, but that was the point, and we're not to that review yet.)

Jersey Girl never really gets to play to Smith's usual writing. There are moments in this film that are pretty darn good, to be sure, but it doesn't have the right vibe or feel, and I think if Smith had just written this, and someone else who was used to directing this kind of movie were to helm the project, it might have ended up a little better.

But, I think this film, and the next few I'm going to review, are the big contributors to this bizarre hate people on the internet have for Kevin Smith. They make the point that some of his films aren't "Clerks." or "Chasing Amy". Well, kids, a filmmaker should be allowed to try to stretch his or her legs once in a while. I think the real reason there is hate for Kevin Smith is because these whining little wankers think they could make a better film, and they are mad that he actually succeeded. But, seriously, he made a movie. Want to make it? Make a damn movie!

I'm happy that Kevin Smith is around. From his films to his podcasts to his QnA's, he has delighted myself and many others. So, while we start off on the negative note of Jersey Girl, I can only promise positive vibes are coming as we get closer to the final few films.

So let not this review color your thinking that somehow I don't like Kevin Smith. I absolutely adore the man, and hope to show that in these reviews. So, stay tuned for tomorrow! Until then, Jersey Girl rating:

2/5

Brit W.



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