Film / Jersey Girl

This 2004 comedy-drama was Kevin Smith’s first foray into more traditional Hollywood filmmaking, as well as his first film to be set outside of The View Askewniverse.

Ollie (Ben Affleck) is a workaholic music publicist living comfortably in New York City whose wife Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez) tragically dies in childbirth. His responsibility for his newborn daughter eventually costs him his job, forcing him to move into his father’s (George Carlin) house in New Jersey. From then on, it’s the story of Ollie’s shaky attempts to raise his daughter, whom he named after her mother, as a single parent, all while deciding whether or not to return to the ritzy life in New York with her. Ollie also finds himself getting involved with a sexy video-store clerk named Maya (Liv Tyler).

The film is very Love It or Hate It for all the of the reasons one might expect: its casting of Affleck and Lopez was horribly timed, as it came during the “Bennifer” craze, which died out with the abysmal failure of Gigli shortly before this film was released. It was also a huge overhaul of Kevin Smith’s traditions (small budgets, quarter-life crisis stories, excessive swearing), which alienated a lot of fans and had critics accusing him of selling out.

Like most of Smith’s films, it eventually found its place on home video.

Jersey Girl demonstrates the following tropes: