Monday, September 27, 2004

Remarkably, Not All Girls From Jersey Are Mean

Jersey Girl and Mean Girls are both PG-13 rated comedies that were marketed to be a little more kiddie than they actually are. That's the only thing that they have in common. Everything else (including the quality) is very different.

I can't call myself a Kevin Smith fan, but in general, I've liked his films. However, I didn't like his most recent film, Jersey Girl. It felt like a clash of two different types of films--a conventional family friendly romantic comedy and well...a Kevin Smith film. Unfortunately, that clash never becomes harmony. Frankly, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez aren't to blame for this film. Actually, the performances are pretty decent. However, no matter how hard you try, dialogue about whether or not Ben Affleck masturbates from rented porn doesn't belong in a movie like this. That's quite a juxtaposition...toned-down adult-oriented dialogue (there's not nearly as much cussing as his R-rated films) with a cute and precocious little girl. Then, there are some just plain schmaltzy cliche moments (like the end when Ben Affleck leaves his car in the middle of a street and runs to the school so he can make his daughter's performance). However, the cameo by Will Smith is nice and there are some genuine sweet moments. Yet, they don't all add up to a good movie, sadly.

I did enjoy Mean Girls, though. Lindsay Lohan more than makes up for the steaming pile of feces that was Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen with this movie. I think it shows how two-faced teenage girls can be in a way that's a little more complex than normally seen. SNL's Tina Fey wrote it (it's inspired by a nonfiction book about high-school's social structure) and it sparkles with clever dialogue and random wackiness (such as when the school erupts into jungle-like craziness). Even as I've been out of high school for five years (it's been that long?), I laughed as I recognized the social groups--social groups I clearly saw when I was in college, too. The cast is very good. I especially enjoyed the underrated Tim Meadows as the principal. SNL people Amy Poehler and Ana Gasteyer (along with Tina Fey herself) also appear in it. All in all, it's a funny film that has a more depth than the average teen comedy and will probably go down with films like Clueless as representing a moment in time for teenage life.

1 comment:

  1. Did you like the janitor from "Scrubs" in a very toned down role as Lindsey Lohan's father? I liked when he didn't know what grounding was.