Jersey Girl is 2004 American comedy-drama directed by Kevin Smith. The film stars Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Jason Biggs, Jennifer Lopez and the late George Carlin.
Ollie Trinké is a powerful media publicist in New York City whose wife, Gertie, dies during childbirth with an aneurysm. To avoid his grief, he buries himself in his work and ignores his new daughter, Gertie, while his father, Bart, takes a month off from work to care for her, but returns so that Ollie is forced to live up to his responsibility as a parent. Under the stress of a botched diaper change and a baby who will not stop crying, he trashes his client, Will Smith, for his soon-to-be released film, Independence Day, in front of assembled reporters. That costs him his job, so he moves in with Bart in New Jersey. He eventually apologizes for ignoring Gertie, and attributes his public outburst to his grief.
Blacklisted by all of New York City's public relations firms, Ollie has to work as a civil servant in the borough where he now lives with Bart. Seven years later, Gertie, now in elementary school, often coaxes him to rent films to watch. At the video store, they meet Maya, a graduate student and one of the clerks, whose uninhibited probing into Ollie's love life almost leads to them having casual sex. She soon becomes a part of their lives.
As part of his job in the borough, Ollie speaks to a group of outraged citizens to win over their approval for a major public works project that will temporarily close a street in the neighborhood. His successful and enjoyable interaction with them leads him to realize how much he misses the public relations work. He contacts Arthur, his one-time protégé, who sets up a promising interview.
The prospect of moving back to New York City creates tension among Ollie, Gertie, Bart, and Maya, especially when he says that his interview is on the same day as Gertie's school talent show. She yells at him, saying she hates him and that she wishes he had died instead of her mother. He claims he hates her right back, and says she and Gertie took his life away and he just wants it back. He immediately regrets it and tries to apologize, but the damage is done and she pushes him away and runs to her room, crying. A few days later they finally patch things up, and she accepts the fact that they will be moving to New York City. While waiting to be interviewed, he has a chance encounter with Will Smith, who he trashed at his public outburst years before. Smith has no idea who Ollie is, but they have a conversation about work and children that persuades Ollie to skip the interview and leave.
Ollie rushes to make it to Gertie's Sweeney Todd performance at the last moment. The film ends with him, Gertie, Bart, Maya, and the rest celebrating at the bar. He and Maya hint at possible feelings for each other before being interrupted by Gertie. He holds her and says that they are staying in New Jersey because he did not take the job. She asks why he did so if he loved it so much. He says that he thought he did, but he loved his new life more because being a father to her was the only thing that he was ever really good at.
Why It Sucks
- The writing is too sappy and sentimental.
- Too much child pornography, for there was a scene where we see a baby's private parts. The fact its even there the first place is outright disgusting and illegal.
- Product placement for movies that Miramax didn't even distribute (Barney's Great Adventure, for example).
- The film goes by at an extremely slow pace.
- Jason Lee and Stephen Root's presence in the movie feels unneeded.
- Boring and forgettable premise.
- The titular child gets an underage panty shot.
- Although George Carlin did very great in the movie, he at times looks bored out of his mind.
- The main character is kind of likable since he does his best to be a good dad and cared for Gertie before she died.
- George Carlin's character, Bart is very funny, yet also provides some of the film's most dramatic scenes.
- Like Gigli, the producers attempted to have the film retooled into a "Bennifer" vehicle by filming new footage that would have pushed Gertie's death to halfway through the film instead of happening in the opening scenes. After Gigli bombed, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez split from their relationship. However, the studio reverted the film to its original cut.