Movie Poster
Jersey Girl
Kevin Smith
Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Raquel Castro, George Carlin, Jason Biggs
102 min.


Good news, Kevin Smith fans: he's still a hack. The bad news is he is no longer a hack in a likable everyman sort of way. Now he's a hack in a genuinely unpleasant sort of way. In a 'there are people who like this guy?' sort of way. Ben Affleck must be rubbing off on him.

Ben Affleck plays the super-buff super-asshole dad, who, inexplicably, everyone loves. The story follows him on his path from asshole to slightly smaller asshole. Why would Kevin Smith think that any of his other characters would care about this guy? Or why, for that matter, would we?

The perfunctory Star Wars references in this feel not like the amusing fanboy conversation crutches they were in Clerks, but like smug self-reference to the amusing fanboy conversaion crutches in Clerks. The cameos all feel self-satisfied and forced, with the exception of Will Smith, who provides one of the few interesting scenes in the film. The situations are uniformly cliched and implausible. It's like Kevin Smith decided to make a romantic comedy by cutting up a thousand other romantic comedies and pasting them together, photo-mosaic style, into a big picture of Ben Affleck's smirking mug.

While it arguably may not be the worst soundtrack ever, it is certainly the soundtrack that is most poorly employed. Every single song swells a little too loud, lyrically references what is happening on the screen a little too closely, stands in for acting and filmcraft in an attempt to create emotion a little too obviously. By the time the closing credits roll and you are painfully reminded that the movie is named after a Bruce Springsteen song, you finally give up and let the movie make you hate it.

Pat Jackson