Jersey Girl

Bomb Rating: 

After Bennifer's last team effort crashed and burned more spectacularly than if Pauly Shore had piloted the Hindenburg into Enron headquarters, one wonders what inspired Miramax and Kevin Smith to go ahead and launch the Hindenburg 2. The reason likely lies somewhere between "already filmed it" and "might as well get the tax write-off."

Suspiciously, "Jersey Girl" finds J. Lo scarcer than George Bush during National Guard duty. New York power couple Gertrude Steiney (Lopez) and Ollie Trinke (Affleck) fall in love, get married and have a kid. However, Gertrude dies in childbirth, which gives Affleck a chance to stretch his acting chops -- making it a dual tragedy. Watching Ben Affleck emote is like watching Icarus fly too close to the sun.

Ollie struggles to cope with single parenthood and moves back to Jersey to share a house with his dad (George Carlin), raise his daughter (Raquel Castro) and befriend an oddball video store clerk (Liv Tyler). Years pass, leaving him frustrated that his career as a publicist is off track, and that he's working on a street crew in his hometown. Oh, boo-hoo. You know what we used to call the street crews in the town where I grew up? Yuppies.

You know that director Kevin Smith's first attempt at a grownup film is in trouble when Ollie's conflict between career and family is exemplified by a choice between attending the Big Job Interview and his daughter's Big School Play. Smith also uses baby poo as a plot point. If you want to see "Jersey Girl," just follow the smell.

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