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Jersey Girl
DVD disk
10.17.2004 By: Indiana Sev
Jersey Girl order
Director:
Kevin Smith

Actors:
Ben Affleck
Liv Tyler
Raquel Castro

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After losing his wife during childbirth and getting fired from his high-paying, high-profile job in New York City, Ollie Trinkie moves back in with his pop in New Jersey and starts a new life as a father. But when his daughter turns seven, Ollie starts missing the old days again and yearning for the life he used to lead. He wants to return to NY and his daughter doesn’t want to leave the happy and comfortable life she has in NJ. And so he looks into his heart for the answer...
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
After years of directing gloriously juvenile, witty, crass, intelligent, thought-provoking and original films like CLERKS, MALLRATS, CHASING AMY, DOGMA and JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, Kevin Smith, the father, decided to make an extremely heartwarming, personal and pretty straightforward film that is clearly a tribute to his own child and his late father (to whom he dedicates the film). And it works! He may have left Jay and Silent Bob out this time around, but the Smith dialogue is still very present and meshes very well with the many, many sweet and tender moments in the movie; between father and son, father and daughter, Matt Damon and Jason Lee, etc. Okay, that last part wasn’t very tender, but it’s brilliant and hilarious moments like that, that’ll remind you that it’s the same ole Kevin directing this movie – and so what if he wants to show his sappy side once in a while? I never thought the man that made ‘cocksmoker’ a household word could ever pull that heavily at my heartstrings, but Smith really does a marvelous job at turning a relatively predictable plotline into a thoroughly enjoyable and sincere romantic comedy/drama.

Let me say this though, this movie is good despite Jason Biggs. This guy conned his way into another one of my favorite director’s movies last year (Woody Allen’s ANYTHING ELSE) and it’s really starting to irk me now. He’s not so much bad as he is “just there.” He’s the same in every movie and I know a ‘no name’ actor would’ve complimented this movie much, much more. That being said, Affleck’s daughter, played by the adorable Raquel Castro, will win you over right away and one of my all-time favorite comics, George Carlin, does an equally good job of playing mostly against part. In other words, the rest of the cast is ace. I would’ve killed for a Brian O’Halloran cameo though. Also, Smith’s choice of songs, especially in the latter half of the film, are absolutely perfect for their chosen moments and scenes; the Fleetwood Mac, Pete Townsend and Bruce Springsteen songs in particular. JERSEY GIRL is not a masterpiece (as CLERKS is), but that’s not what Smith set out to do, all he wanted to do is make a touching father & daughter movie that would bring you equal amounts of laughter and heart – and succeeded.

Despite Jason Biggs.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary by Kevin Smith & Ben Affleck: This is even better than you’d imagine it’d be. Kevin and Ben, very close friends in real life, talk very casually and comically through the entire run. I personally relate to their sense of humor very much so I really, really enjoyed this. From taking playful jabs at their Hungarian cinematographer to the whole Affleck/Lopez press fiesta to chuckles about Affleck’s acting techniques and past film roles, this is one commentary track that covers the entire gamut of the Affleck/Smith world that I know and love so much. I’ve never graded a commentary track before, but these guys score a 10, easily. More candid and fun than this, you won’t get…

Audio Commentary by Smith, producer Scott Mosier and Jason Mewes: 11/10. Jason Mewes is a great, great, great man. He’s asked to put himself in the shoes of the viewer while watching this with Smith and Mosier. Mewes’ drug history is also discussed. These commentary tracks are gold!

The Tonight Show’s “Roadside Attractions” featuring Kevin Smith: These are some of the segments Smith does for Leno once in a while. It basically involves Smith traveling around to some cities in the U.S. (in states like New York, Washington and Florida), visiting peculiar sites there and then cracking wise. This is Kevin Smith “watered down”, but he nonetheless does get a few quality zingers in there. This feature includes an intro by Smith and a separate segment on the set of JERSEY GIRL on their last day of shooting (also featured on The Tonight Show). An 8/10…I’ve decided, just this once, to grade all these extras.

From Mallrats to Jersey Girl: Kevin Smith and Ben Affleck Talk Shop: 27 minutes of Affleck and Smith reminiscing about the beginnings and progression of their friendship and the films they’ve done together. Clips of the films are interjected throughout. Seriously, it’s worth it for the GOOD WILL HUNTING sequel clip from JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK alone. More Affleck and Smith hijinx…you can’t go wrong. 10/10

Behind-The-Scenes Special: 16 minutes of the interviews and behind the scenes stuff that you’re used to, but twice as fun because Smith’s involved and Scotty Mosier looks like he just smoked a banana peel. A solid 8/10 for this one…

Text Interviews with Cast & Crew: Tons and tons of text interviews and observations done by writer Anthony Teofilo while he spent ten days with the cast and crew in Philadelphia, PA and Paulsboro, NJ while filming JERSEY GIRL. This just about covers any little detail about the film you didn’t already know about from the previous features. A great addition. 8/10

Important notice: The DVD's cover box is one of the plainest and ugliest ones you’ll see this year; it doesn’t even come close to encapsulating the idea of the movie and for some demented reason, Jason Biggs, who has a small part in the film, is featured more prominently than Raquel Castro!! Christ, the movie is called JERSEY GIRL not THAT EGGHEAD FROM AMERICAN PIE! I’m a little disappointed Smith didn’t raise hell in trying to prevent this travesty from happening. Who knows, maybe he did… The theatrical poster was just fine! Arggggggghhh!!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Aside from the horrid DVD cover, this should be the 6th Kevin Smith movie in your collection. The Clinic strongly recommends you buy it. You’ll get a very healthy dosage of Smith in the extras and the film itself will grow on you. I liked it even more the second time around.
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