Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Jersey Girl

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm a fan Kevin Smith. Kind of a weird one.

I saw Clerks in a theater... not to be obscure, it was the Varsity on University Way in Seattle. I enjoyed it a lot. Mind you, I found it flawed in many ways, but it was certainly a movie with ideas.

I've seen all of the movies that followed in a theater, and enjoyed them on one level or another, although only Chasing Amy was completely satisfying.

So, why didn't I see Jersey Girl in a theater? No specific reason. I certainly intended to. I actually am one of those people who really likes Ben Affleck... and I don't have any strong opinion on Jennifer Lopez... or didn't then, I have seen the "Jenny From The Block" video since then and it is difficult to not hold the person responsible for that in deep, deep comtempt.

Anyway, I saw it today on the DVD.

They can go on and on about the how the Gigli effect hurt the box office, and it certainly didn't help them build up the business, but really... The reason that movie didn't do more business is simple... It sucks.

It really does.

Mind you, Mr. Smith has always had a secret sentimental streak. All of his movies hide that under the surface, some more than others. It's one of the most appealing and endearing qualities of his vulgar little movies. Unfortunately, this movie is all sentiment. It ultimately amounts to little or nothing more than remarkably short - and only occasionally amusing - sequences that link together a series of touching moments set to maudlin music. I think it might hold a record for the number of these in one movie.

Look, I'm a big sucker for the sentimental moment, set to some cheesy-ass music in which people have some moment of revelation. This doesn't even really try to earn those, though. It thinks they should be meaningful even without any real character development.

So, as much as I want to support Kevin... and as much as I'd love to put all my support behind any movie whose plot hinges on a small child performing a number from Sweeney Todd for school.. I just... It doesn't work. The actors all came to do their jobs, and did them as well as could be expected, but the direction is so overdone. It leads you through every emotion it wants to wrench out of you in such a predictable manner, that it's difficult to enjoy the process of following.

It's pure schmaltz, and really, not even good schmaltz.

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