||[Mar. 27th, 2004|03:07 pm]
Jersey Girl is an odd movie to come from Kevin Smith, given his previous movies. What is preserved is an easygoing atmosphere, a certain sense of humor and New Jersey. Really, though it's Smith's remake of John Hughes remake of "It's A Wonderful Life." It's very much a schmaltzy, sentimental Hollywood tearjerker.|
But at least it is a perfectly done schmaltzy sentimental Hollywood tearjerker. I loved the way that it mythologizes small-town New Jersey -- turning "Gateway to Sandy Hook" into a new Bedford Falls. Affleck is better in this role than he's been in anything recent; he displays some range, and seems as natural as any freakishly handsome modern Adonis can seem in a movie.
George Carlin, though, steals the show, with probably his best performance in a movie ever. He's funny without being a bufoon, and his wry ill temper keeps every scene he's in from becoming cloying. Liv Tyler is as adorable as ever, but this script gives her more to work with than most of her roles. In that comet-colliding-with-earth movie, she might as well have had a head of solid wood, for all the script asked of her, and she was little more than a mannekin in the Lord of the Rings movies.
I can see how people wouldn't like this movie, but it worked for me. It's a big tureen full of sentimental goop, but it's the best tureen o goop I've seen in a long while.