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Saturday, March 27, 2004



JERSEY GIRL (2004)

Written and Directed by Kevin Smith

Mil is not what you'd call an avid Kevin Smith fan, but I do think he's a talented guy, writes pretty good dialog, and definitely gives back to his fans. And I've spent way too much time in line at the Nuart in West L.A. waiting next to shining examples of his fan base to see midnight screenings of some of his films. I'm happy to say that I think they are not going to like this film much. I think they'll consider it a sell-out. Well, good. Those people annoy me anyway, and I'd like them to all stay home in their cars. Bunch of comic-book-reading-drunken-goth-morons who are loud and unfunny for the most part. They see Kev as some sort of grungy Woody Allen or something. Which confuses me. But hey, I'm Kevin's age...and these kids are young.
So why the long preamble? I don't know, just venting, I guess. I know you're on pins and needles to find out what I thought of "Jersey Girl" so here goes....
I liked it. Yep, nice little movie. It's a story we've seen many times--a protagonist whose suddenly forced to give up his fast-paced life to wipe a baby's ass--and it ends up being the best thing that ever happened to him. I think Kevin Smith is maturing as a filmmaker, first, the look of the film is much bigger, more Hollywood you might say, but in the good sense, with help from cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. Smith's bathroom style humor actually lends itself well to this type of story, and yes, he does tone it down a bit for a wider audience. The performances are good, even George Carlin, whose not much of an actor, managed to put a little salty one in the corner of my eye once or twice. The daughter, played by Raquel Castro, is exceptionally lovable and precocious. There's a cute scene where Affleck walks in on his daughter and a little boy showing each other their junk. Other movies have tackled that awkward moment, but Smith handles it a little better than most I think. I must also admit that I got a little misty a couple times, and some accuse me of doing that too easily, but it only happens when I am genuinely moved by something. I often expect to be moved by certain films, but if the scenes are not handled well, I don't react. So I gotta give Kevin props for that. I don't frequent his website but I can imagine the horrible accusations flying out of the keyboards of his average fan. "You sell out!" "Hollywood whore!" and whatnot...screw all yall. Let the guy make what he wants to make. Here's a test if you feel disappointed by him. Sit down and come up with a list of all the people who've disappointed you, THEN sit back and make a list of all the people YOU have disappointed. Uh-huh. It's so easy to be disappointed ain't it? RELAX. I just have to say, good job, Kevin, and I am looking forward to the Green Hornet.