Kevin Smith, the man, the myth the legend. Where Buffy the Vampire Slayer is what changed my life and made me want to be a writer, Kevin Smith made me want to be a film maker. And a podcaster.
Now Every Monday I am reviewing the world of View Askew and everything that takes place inside the Jay and Silent Bob world but Smith has a few movies that take place outside of that world. So I thought I'd cover them here. First up we have the film Jersey Girl.
The movie starts as Gertie, the daughter of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's characters, tells her class about how her parents met. We see that as their relationship grows his job becomes a bigger and bigger problem. He puts it first, above everything else. J-Lo tells him off for it and he promises to change.
The baby is born and everything is happy till J-Lo dies. Ben's character freaks out and is kicked out of the room and honestly who could blame him. His wife just died.
He reaches out to his father, played by the late great George Carlin, to help him out by watching his daughter, who he named after his late wife, while he went to work. He is assigned Will Smith as a client. He doesn't know who Will Smith is. Who the hell doesn't know who Will Smith is?
He is now a single father and yet he still puts work above everything else, including his new born daughter. He just expects his father to take of everything but his dad pulls a fast one and takes off, leaving Ben to be a father for once. He brings his baby to the press meeting and baby power blows up in his face. He makes a joke about blow and Will Smith is late. Everyone screams at him chanting Fresh Prince and he tells them to shut the hell up and goes off on Will Smith, calling him a nobody. There goes his job. This causes him to have to move back in with his father out in New Jersey.
We jump to when his daughter is 7 and he is still living in Jersey. Now working with his father. While driving his daughter around in a street cleaner he tells her she is riding in the batmobile, can you say forshadowing? Affleck was meant to play Batman and everyone knows it, we always have!
No one will hire him because of what he did to Will Smith. Things are not going well for our hero at all. At least until he takes his daughter to the video store and he meets Maya played by Liv Tyler. She shows up at his house and asks him for a date and won't take no for an answer. Why don't women do that for me? Thanks Kevin Smith for making me feel worse for being single!
When Maya finds out that Ben's character, Ollie, hasn't had sex since his wife died she talks him into having sex with her. He fights off the offer as long as he can but finally caves. Must be nice to be Ben Affleck. Ah but cocked blocked by the kid. Isn't that the way? He tries to hide her in the shower but his daughter flushes the toilet and she screams. Thus starts the interrogations. She even black mails her father. She is way too smart.
They have to close off a street in the middle of town and people are pissed. Ollie talks the town down and everyone buys what he is selling. He reaches to his old assistant to try and help him get a job. He agrees.
Ollie gets the job but his final interview is the same day as his daughters play. He lashes out at her and alienates everyone in his family. She hates the idea of New York. She tells him that she wishes he died instead of her mother and he tells her that she and his mother took his life away and all he wants is it back. How heart breaking is that? It's enough to bring me to tears.
Maya more or less breaks up with him. Telling him that her living here and him living in New York would never work out. She doesn't mean it, breaking down into tears the second he is gone. Once in New York for his final meeting he ends up sitting next to Will Smith. Talk about irony. The two men hit it off. Will Smith tells him he would rather play in the dirt with his kid and Ollie blows off his interview to go watch the play. Finally learning what is more important. It isn't the most original story but it is one filled with humor and heart and what more could you ask for?
The blocked off road that he sold the town on now blocks him from making it to the play. He ditches his car and runs to the school, trying to reach the school in time. Her song, with her grandfather starts and he still hasn't made it. Maya starts off the song just as Ollie gets there but all the doors are locked.
The grandfather is about to go in but Ollie makes it just in time to go out on stage and make his daughter's night! The teacher faints and the audience is in shock. This 7 year old girl just did a play about killing someone, Sweeney Todd. But they get on board and applaud her. The night is a win. He even gets the girl!!
For a movie that doesn't get a lot of love it is a true masterpiece. Anyone who doesn't love Jersey Girl doesn't have a heart. Simple as that.