Kevin Smith goes mature and mainstream

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 3

Product:

Jersey Girl

OPENS JUNE 18, CERT 12A, 102 MINS

They say fatherhood changes all men, but rarely can it have transformed the modus operandi of one as much as it has Smith’s. The scatological slacker behind Clerks, Chasing Amy and Dogma has gone all gooey on us, making a film about how great it is to forsake shallow city life and change nappies. There are some nasty one-liners, but it’s all a bit (whisper it) Richard Curtis.

Ben Affleck is left holding the baby when J-Lo dies during childbirth. He blows his cool, loses his high-flying job and leaves Manhattan to raise his daughter in drab Jersey. Years pass, and he’s settling into the quiet life when videostore worker Liv Tyler, taking pity on his porn habit, offers him his first sex in seven years. Reinvigorated, he tries to re-enter his old circle, but after a chance meeting with Will Smith (Matt Damon and Jason Biggs also cameo), reconsiders his priorities.

On its own terms, it’s sweet and funny, but you wouldn’t know this was a Kevin Smith film if it didn’t say so on the tin. At one point, it even says, “Accept who you are.” Man down!