2017-01-19

20170119: Comedy Review--Jersey Girl





Name: Jersey Girl (2016)
IMDb: link to Jersey Girl page

Genres: Comedy.   Country of origin: USA.

Cast:
Ben Affleck as Oliver Trinke, Raquel Castro as Gertie Trinke, Liv Tyler as Maya, George Carlin as Bart Trinke, Mike Starr as Block, Stephen Root as Greenie, Matt Damon as PR Exec #2, Jason Biggs as Arthur Brickman, Jennifer Lopez as Gertie Steiney.

Directed and written by: Kevin Smith.
Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler

The Three Acts:

The initial tableaux:
1. Oliver is a publicist working in NYC with a good success rate and a demanding schedule.  He meets Gertie Steiney and his life is changed.  The second huge change in his life comes when Gertie gets pregnant and dies giving birth to their daughter.

2. Oliver's father Bart helps him out with daughter Gertie up to a point.  Then Bart demands that Oliver start acting like Gertie's father.  The third huge change in Oliver's life comes when he makes the mistake of taking his daughter to work, resulting in his catastrophic firing.

3. Most of the film is about the period seven years after the firing, when Oliver meets Maya, and Gertie's big personality starts to show itself.

Delineation of conflicts:
Oliver wants his old life back (NYC, lots of money, fast life) and to leave New Jersey and his life as a municipal worker with Bart.  Gertie wants a father.  Bart wants his son to do the honorable thing and take care of Bart's granddaughter.  Maya wants to be closer to Oliver, who still cannot let go of his dead wife.

Resolution: Oliver, after years of horrible failed interviews, finally gets a shot at a likely hire as a publicist.  However, the interview comes the same day as young Gertie's big event at school.  What will Oliver do?

One line summary: Sad and sweet.
Raquel Castro, Ben Affleck

Statistics:


Cinematography: 9/10 Nothing majestic, but good camera work throughout.

Sound: 8/10 I could hear the dialog, and the musical accompaniment was fine.

Acting: 8/10 Raquel Castro gave a marvelous performance.  George Carlin was delightful.  In general I do not care for Ben Affleck, but I liked his acting throughout the film, especially with Castro and Carlin.  Liv Tyler, Mike Starr, and Stephen Root were good as the rest of Oliver's extended family in Jersey.

On the downside, Jason Biggs and Jennifer Lopez reminded me of why they are deal breakers for me. If I had known Will Smith was in the film (my mistake in not doing research), I would not have watched it at all.  Fortunately Smith's role was short and did serve a purpose in plot exposition.

Screenplay: 7/10 I got quite a few laughs from the film, which lets me excuse all sorts of problem areas.  The plot knot at the end was such a cliche that I nearly skipped reviewing the piece, but most of the film was fine.

Final rating: 8/10