Cast charms in winning family comedy
Courtney Wilson | Monday, October 4, 2004
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez reunite on the big screen in “Jersey Girl.” The reunion of the couple is not as painful as you might expect. In fact, their collaboration is reasonably brief.Lopez and Affleck play Gertrude and Ollie, eager newlyweds. Tragedy takes the place of elation when Gertrude (Lopez) dies during the birth of their much anticipated baby girl, Gertie. Ollie (Affleck), an obsessively, career driven music publicist, is put in the tight predicament of caring for his newborn and executing his high powered, high profile job all at once. An off-the-cuff remark made about his client, Will Smith, “the Fresh Prince” at a hectic press conference leaves him jobless, and on his way back to the New Jersey suburbs. Ollie vows, then, to dedicate his life entirely to his infant daughter. Seven years later, and Ollie is still living in Highlands, N.J. with his Pop (George Carlin), and young daughter Gertie (Raquel Castro). Reduced to working as a blue-collar street worker, the dream of returning to his former life complete with parties, celebrities and influence never escapes him. Once again, he is forced to face the decision of moving back to the city to recover his broken career, or remain in the family oriented life style he has been living. Maya (Liv Tyler) is the amusingly honest, would be girlfriend of Ollie. She forces Ollie to realize all that he underestimates in his life. Together, the actors do a great job at emphasizing the movie’s heartfelt theme of acceptance and appreciation of the priorities in life. Even though Ollie is emotionally pressured into sacrificing his entertainment dream job, his dedication to his family leaves him with greater reward in the end.Jersey Girl provides the perfect amount of emotionally triggering content combined with an entertaining dose of comedic reality. Director Kevin Smith is best known for his command on the popular blockbuster “Clerks.” Smith’s reputation for his forthright humor shines throughout the movie. In fact, a few quick-witted random comments throughout the movie, border questioning on whether or not the movie is ideal for family viewing. Movie viewers will be impressed with the acting ability of young Raquel Castro. She plays the role of Ollie’s adorably precocious daughter, Gertie, and steals the show with her undeniable adeptness at the role. This movie is definitely one which will exceed expectations.Bottom line – do not let your J.Lo grudge prevent you from checking out this genuinely good movie.