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Jersey Girl

Suburban Sapfest

Beware - this is not your typical Kevin Smith movie; while Jersey Girl may be based in the same state as his first feature Clerks, this saccharine flick is about as far away, without entering another dimension, as you can get. Ben Affleck plays Ollie, a fast-talking PR-honcho on the top of his game who's dating Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez). The two have a storybook romance set against the backdrop of New York City, but after a tragic death Ollie is forced to reevaluate his life. He has to leave the Big Apple to return to his father's (George Carlin) run-down home, somewhere in the wilds of New Jersey (director/writer/producer Kevin Smith's beloved home state), to raise his daughter Gertie, played by the cute as a button Raquel Castro. While doing his time in what he sees as a type of purgatory, Ollie meets the forward and quirky video store clerk (Liv Tyler).

The astonishingly lovely Tyler is totally and completely miscast and while the movie has great comedic actors like Carlin, their potential is wasted here. This movie lacks the usual wit and eccentricity found in Smith's other films and, as a result, disappoints. But at least there's an explanation for the madness- the movie is dedicated to Smith's father who passed away last year and, perhaps, this was his way to pay homage to the ol' man.