Since I have absolutely nothing better to do with my time, I have decided that I MUST review the Jersey Girls. Yes, they have the same name. They were released about twelve years apart (and it shows). Without further ado, here are the Jersey Girls:
Jersey Girl (1992) : This little stereotypical gem starred a young a sassy Jami Gertz (Still Standing, Teen movie and show star, also was in Twister and played Gilda Radner in a TV movie), and Dylan McDermott (pre-Practice days, long before Steel Magnolias) in a movie that seems like it was made for tv. Toby (Gertz) is a Jersey Girl who is fed up with her lifestyle and is trying to break out of it. She thinks that the only way she can better herself is to find the right guy and goes to great lengths to find someone from the other side of the river, Manhattan. She meets Sal (McDermott) by going to a Mercedes dealership and hanging around and then pursues him without pause. He finally relents, takes her out a few times and they fall in love. Except that Sal used to be from Jersey and worked very hard to get out of there. He has no intentions of going back to that life now that he is a yuppie, being groomed by this total jerk-of-a-boss that reminds him that girls like Toby are to be used and thrown away. Sal has to decide that he will let his feelings for Toby prevail and not be sucked into the lifestyle of his co-workers. Toby is under pressure from her father and her friends, who are jealous that she doesn’t hang out with them at all hours of the day anymore. They accuse her of being a snob and wanting to dump them and do NOT like Sal. When Toby and Sal “break-up” Toby tells it like it is and tells him he likes his fancy car more than her. He proves to her (in perhaps the lamest romantic Hollywood ending) that he loves her more by totally trashing a brand-new Mercedes outside of her workplace, a daycare. And all the kids watch him run his car into a fire hydrant, kick out the headlights and scratch the car up with a key. Only in Jersey.
Rating: I give this three out of five stars. It is cute, kinda Cinderella-like. It is terribly predictable and funny in a gotta-laugh-at-the-Jersey-accents-and-big-hair kinda way. When it is on a free movie channel, I find myself unable to escape it and get sucked into watching.
Jersey Girl (2004): I know, I know, the critics hated it. They were basing their opinions on the fact that Kevin Smith (who wrote and directed it) usually produces gross-out, foul language, young adult comedies with really far-fetched plots. The guy that brought us Clerks, Mallrats and Dogma tucks Jay and Silent Bob away for a few hours to bring us a romantic comedy with a different twist. Ben Affleck is Ollie Trinke, a guy from (you guessed it!) Jersey who prefers to stay in Manhattan. He meets Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez) and falls in love. When Gertrude dies in childbirth he thinks he can raise their baby on his own, leaving the child with his father (George Carlin) most of the time and spending no time with the baby (Gertie, adorable Raquel Castro). Dad gives him a wake-up call and refuses to watch the baby on the day of an important press conference, and Ollie messes up, loses his job and subsequently gets black-listed in the music PR business. Fast forward a few years, Gertie (now seven) and Ollie live with Mr. Trinke in Jersey and Ollie works with Pop for the township sanitation department. He is stuck in a rut, never dates and rents adult films to satisfy his cravings. At the video store he meets Maya (Liv Tyler), a grad student doing a paper and asks to study Ollie and his video choices. He declines, she persists, he finally relents. Guess what? They kinda fall in love, but he is not over his dead wife. The past seven years he has tried very hard to get back into the PR business, but everyone remembers his little “Will Smith” situation and won’t hire him. When an old friend finally gets him the interview(and possibly, a job) of his dreams, he has to decide if he wants to stay in his life in Jersey where he can be “the best father in the world” or move to New York and tear his daughter away from the only life she has ever known. He basically find out that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.
Rating: I loved this movie. I give it four out of five stars. Some of it was a little hokey and over-acted, but everyone in this film (and it was loaded with star potential) was great. Little Gertie steals the show. I LOVE the Sweeney Todd portion of the film, it is a SCREAM.
Don’t forget, I come from a family of movie buffs. We’ve seen just about everything and can quote all the good flicks, especially Monty Python. And Sci-Fi stuff. And the Princess Bride…