Film: Jersey Girl
Kevin Smith’s first foray into more traditional Hollywood filmmaking, as well as his first film not to be set in 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 cost 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 deceased mother, as a single parent, all while deciding whether or not to return to the ritzy life in New York with her.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 before the “Bennifer” crazy, 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:
- Beleaguered Assistant: Arthur.
- Brick Joke: Gertie repeatedly asks her dad to take her to see Cats, but because it's no longer running, they see Sweeney Todd instead. Later, at the school pageant, they're the only ones who don't sing "Memory."
- Chekhov's Gun: Gertie always forgetting to flush the toilet. The one time she remembers on her own is the one time Ollie wouldn't have wanted her to...
- Death by Childbirth: Gertrude
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: The entire reason Ollie had to move back in with his dad.
- And when he curses out his daughter. The guy should really learn to keep his mouth shut sometimes.
- Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower: How Gertie ends up catching Ollie and Maya, who are standing in the shower when Gertie flushes the toilet.
- Grumpy Old Man: George Carlin
- Interrupted Intimacy: Ollie gets caught with Maya by Gertie, who switches roles with him, mirroring a previous scene involving his daughter.
- It Will Never Catch On: Ollie doesn't think the star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will be able to carry a huge summer action film.
- Magical Negro: Will Smith's appearance (as himself) has shades of this.
- Swapped Roles : After Gertie catches Ollie in the shower with Maya.
- Take That: Many. Notably:
- Trailers Always Spoil: Interesting example. Gertrude dying was supposed to be a major twist and Jennifer Lopez was meant to get a top billing. However after Gigli flopped with critics and audiences Bennifer started suffering from a major Hype Backlash. In attempt at damage control Lopez was Demoted to Extra and her death became a major part of advertising campaign.
- Undermined By Reality: A bit of an unusual case. Originally the plan was to advertise the movie as being all about the relationship between Affleck and Lopez's characters, making Lopez's death early on a huge shock. But by the time it was released Gigli and the general public being utterly sick of them as a couple had killed this plan's viability, so the twist was put right in the trailers, leaving the film with little real identity of its own.
- The Verse: Averted. One of the reasons for this film's commercial failure was that it wasn't set in the View Askewniverse.
- World of Snark: it is a Kevin Smith film, after all.
- Wham Line: "I HATE YOU TOO, YOU LITTLE SHIT! YOU AND MOMMY TOOK MY LIFE AWAY FROM ME!!"
- What the Hell, Hero?: Bart calls Ollie out a few times when he isn't the father he should be.
- The audience undoubtably thinks this when Ollie accuses his daughter of stealing his life away from him. To her face, no less.