Saturday, 17 August 2013

Film Review: Jersey Girl

When we were trawling round charity shops in Largs a few weeks back we picked up a massive bunch of films, most of which were old favourites or films we hadn't seen for far too long. Jersey Girl is one of those fluffy old favourites.

It's the story of a guy who lives and works in New York, is massively successful, has a beautiful wife and a baby on the way. Then it all goes wrong; the wife dies in childbirth leaving him alone with the baby, he screws up at work and is forced to return to New Jersey with his daughter to live with his dad.

Flash forward seven years and Ollie is still hoping to return to his old job as a publicist but spends his days working as a street sweeper. When he gets his big chance to return to the city he realises that he's got to make a choice between what makes him happy and what he thinks will make him happy.

It's a film in the same vein as Jack & Sarah, single dad raising his daughter and meeting someone new. It's different too because I feel like Ollie is a lot more selfish. They're both basically two different responses to the same scenario. Both films have a fairly subtle romance subplot and they have some great comedy moments so I suppose that's why I like them both. I think I just need to get Fly Away Home (which will probably never happen because Mr Click fancies Anna Paquin in True Blood but feels uncomfortable seeing her as a child) and I'll have a set of these sorts of films.

As far as films go, it's got a fairly high cheese factor. But it's sort of sickly sweet as well. I like the way that it swings from the hilariously funny; Ollie takes his daughter to the video rental store and while she's picking out what she wants to rent he makes a blind grab for some *ahem* adult movies, only to get to the checkout to find it's not really what he was looking for, much to the amusement of Maya, the girl at the till. Then swings round the other way to Ollie yelling at his young daughter that she ruined his life.

The little girl who plays Gertie really helps make the film. She plays it so well and it helps that she looks just like she could be the offspring of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Gertie is a fantastically precocious child but she seems real. Some child actors feel like they're acting, but Raquel Castro seems perfect. I can't actually think of anything else that she did, other than playing the adopted child of a couple in Third Watch who were adopting the child of one of the paramedic's.

I love the way that Liv Tyler plays Maya as well. She's kind of a smart but quirky girl and it suits her really well. It's the sort of character you would expect Zooey Deschanel to play. This film came out when I was at the height of my Lord of the Rings obsession so I think that played a huge part in my loving it back then, hehe.

There's lots of funny little jokes which are built up all the way through but one in particular bugs me a little. On several occasions you see Gertie leaving the bathroom having forgotten to flush the toilet and each time she is reprimanded by her father, but at one point he reminds her to flush but says nothing about the fact she leaves the room without washing her hands. *smacks Ollie*

It's one of those films that I know I'll be rewatching over and over in the future so I'm glad I've got it on DVD now. It might not be the greatest film in the world, but it's perfect for when you're in need of something a little bit fluffy.

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Let me know what you think. :-)