Film reviews

Jersey Girl, Dir; Kevin Smith, Cert; 12a

To celebrate, if that is the right term, 10 years of View Askew, Kevin Smith has returned to an earlier, pre "Jay & Silent Bob", era and the style of Chasing Amy. Infact the eponymous duo make only a fleeting animated cameo at the start of the opening titles, so if you are expecting anarchic humour in the vain of Mallrats, Dogma or Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back then I'm afraid you may well be disappointed.

Ben Affleck plays Ollie Trinke a high flying, hyper cynical New York advertising executive in the mid 90's, who is left to bring up his daughter alone apart from the assistance of his father (George Carlin) who soon tires of his sons self denial of his daughters existence. Needless to say Ollie's career takes a spectacular nose dive once he is forced to face up to his parental responsibilities, and it does so in a way that leaves no way back.

We now skip forward to six years and find Ollie working with his father as a council workman in New Jersey, collecting his daughter Gertie from school in the "Bat Mobile" (a blue road sweeper) and bemoaning the fact that "Uncle's" Greenie and Block are not relatives and only just fit to be classed as her peers. In attempts to keep Gertie happy Ollie is caught fighting her desires to see Cats on Broadway ("That musical was the second worst thing to happen to New York") and rent Dirty Dancing from the local video store. On one of these latter expeditions and in a failed attempt to surreptitiously rent porn Ollie meets Maya (Liv Tyler), a Graduate Student doing a thesis on porn rental habits, and a relationship soon starts to form between the two.

Following this meeting, the film proceeds to chart the relationship which develops between Ollie, Maya, Ollie's daughter and their extended family. Whilst there are some slow moments of character & plot development, these are more than made up for by the dialogue and humour in others - to wit Jason Lee and Matt Damon as two PR execs interviewing Ollie for a job.

There are cameo appearances by most of the "View Askew" regulars, a short and rather non-descript performance by Jason Biggs (American Pie trilogy), along with a major "Star!" who shall remain nameless in this review so as not to spoil the fun. Oh yes, I almost forgot - the audience reaction at Gertie's schools Thanksgiving Production is well worth enduring the film for if you find yourself losing interest.
Overall 7/10

K. Soze


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