Written and Directed by Kevin Smith
Starring Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Jason Biggs, George Carlin, Stephen Root, and Raquel Castro
- Running audio commentary with writer/director Smith and actor Affleck
- Running audio commentary with Smith, producer Scott Mosier and Jason Mewes
- From Mallrats to Jersey Girl: Kevin Smith and Ben Affleck talk shop
- The Tonight Show’s “Roadshow Attractions”
- Behind the scenes special
- Text interviews with cast and crew
Released by: Miramax Home Entertainment
My Advice: Rent it before you buy it.
[ad#longpost]Ollie Trinke (Affleck) has just met the love of his life in Gertrude (Lopez). They marry and she gets pregnant relatively quickly. He is learning to modify his lifestyle to accomodate his newly found parental obligations (and not dealing too well with it) and she goes into labor. The intensity of her labor caused an aneurysm in her brain and she dies. So now, Trinke is left raising his daughter alone as well as dealing with the fact that he’s a widower. He screws up the first presentation he has after the tragedy and garners himself a horrible reputation. He moves in with his father (Carlin) who is also trying to help him deal with his loss and his new responsibilities. The years fly by and he gets a job working in Jersey for the city sanitation department just to support his daughter all the while going on interviews to try to get back into his old profession. Along the way, he meets Maya (Tyler) who works the counter at the local video rental store and realizes that there might actually be more to life.
I can’t believe that I didn’t watch this movie earlier. I know the reason this movie hit me so hard is because I’m a helpless romantic and a father of a young daughter. This movie really spoke to me. It’s not your typical Kevin Smith movie, which probably helps to explain why it didn’t do better in the box office. I hesitate to say that it represents a change of focus for Smith, because he can most definitely switch gears and go back to the type of movie he’s best known for. However, it does represent a change for him and a good one at that.
The movie is great. Affleck is even good in it. He has a real relationship with his fellow actors and it shows. His costar in the movie, Castro, is equally up to the challenge, even though it was her first movie. The movie was shot during his relationship with Lopez so that relationship worked and he had worked with Tyler before and had some pretty good on screen chemistry so I think it was just the right combination of people. It also could be that I just connect with the material. After all, Affleck, Tyler, Root, and Carlin all perform “God, That’s Good” from my favorite musical of all time, Sweeney Todd. That alone works wonders for me.
The DVD is pretty good, too. There are two commentary tracks, one with Smith and his producer and Mewes, which is considered to be the more “serious” of the two, but when you get Smith and Mewes together, there’s going to be a little bit of goofing around. However, the other commentary track with Smith and Affleck is more like two good buddies sitting around shooting the shit. It’s kind of funny, but it’s not as informative as the first track. There is also an interview with Smith and Affleck that just goes into their personal history of how they got together to make the film. Which is nice that they actually tie the whole thing back to the source material. Unlike the next special feature which has no tie-in with the source material at all, although that doesn’t mean that it’s not funny as hell.
It seems that right after 9/11 when no one was flying, Jay Leno and Smith got together to create this feature for The Tonight Show called “Roadside Attractions”. It’s basically Smith and a camera crew driving around the country stopping at some of the lesser known…stay with me…roadside attractions to talk to the people who run them. Even though they have nothing to do with the film here at all, they are just hilarious and worth watching.
Sadly, the Behind the Scenes featurette is pretty much your standard crap that goes on these DVDs. It’s filled with superficial interviews with the cast and crew intercut with scenes from the movie. Then, there is one of the weirdest features I’ve ever seen on a DVD: text interviews with the cast and crew. They are well written, but who wants to sit down and read while you’re watching a DVD? It’s just boring.
Anyway, if you’ve never seen the movie, I suggest you check it out. It’s at least worth the rental. If it hits you like it did me, then you can drop the dough to add it to your shelf.