Breaking from his signature slacker-underdog films like CLERKS, MALLRATS, and CHASING AMY, Kevin Smith delivers the feel-good family movie JERSEY GIRL. While Smith's pert one-liners and wryly ironic sense of humor are clearly present in the script, his casting choices (Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck) and glossy aesthetic identify the film as a mainstream Hollywood crowd-pleaser. Affleck stars as Ollie, a powerful entertainment executive with a perfect wife (Lopez) and a beautiful Manhattan apartment. But when his wife dies in childbirth and his career fizzles to a halt, he humbly gives up his fast-paced Manhattan lifestyle for the benefit of his daughter Gurtie (Raquel Castro), who is 7 years old for the majority of the film. He moves to New Jersey to live with his father (George Carlin), finds a new romantic interest (Liv Tyler), and learns some lessons about what's important in life. A subplot about Will Smith keeps a string of Hollywood insider jokes and quick cameos (Matt Damon) running throughout the film, while a school play modeled after "Sweeney Todd" lends itself to some funny theatrical moments. An emotive pop soundtrack features music by Aimee Mann in addition to a handful of well-timed entries that help move the plot along ("Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" plays as Ollie sheepishly drives his U-Haul across the river from Manhattan to Jersey), rounding out JERSEY GIRL as a likeable comedy. Parents beware, Smith may have curbed his edginess for this one, but foul language abounds.
Liv Tyler - Actress, model, THE STRANGERS, THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)
George Carlin - Comedian, actor
Jason Biggs - Actor
Kevin Smith - Writer/Director, CLERKS, DOGMA
Mike Starr - Supporting Actor
Ben Affleck - Oscar-winning actor/screenwriter, GOOD WILL HUNTING
Jennifer Lopez - Actress, SELENA, EL CANTANTE
Jennifer Lynn Lopez - Actress, SELENA, EL CANTANTE
J.Lo - Actress, SELENA, EL CANTANTE
La Lopez - Actress, SELENA, EL CANTANTE
Lola - Actress, SELENA, EL CANTANTE
Vilmos Zsigmond - Hungarian Director of Photography
William Zsigmond - Hungarian Director of Photography
Scott Mosier - Producer, Kevin Smith's Partner
Raquel Castro - Actor, JERSEY GIRL (2004)
Stephen Root - Actor/"Monkey Shines"
Stephen D. Root - Actor/"Monkey Shines"
This film screened as part of SXSW 2004 in Austin, Texas.
"[Castro's] smile and positive spirit make her the film's most engaging performer." - 03/26/2004 Los Angeles Times, p.E8
"Smith is looking more and more like a developing major talent..." - 03/26/2004 USA Today, p.3D
"[A] heartfelt, personal quality in the writing makes the film difficult to dislike." - 05/01/2004 Box Office, p.30
"[I]t's sweet and funny..." - 07/01/2004 Uncut, p.132
"[A] warm, funny movie..." - 09/03/2004 Chicago Sun-Times, p.12