so let's talk about Jersey Girl.
posted by Aeire
I am a Kevin Smith fan. I like his movies, I see his panel
at Comicon every year because he's just a hoot, I think he's a brilliant
writer, and I haven't got a problem with the dude at all. I'm just sayin,
before I go into the following, okay? Okay. Also let me note there will
be spoilers for this film, so if you haven't for some reason seen it,
and want to see it, you might not want to read on. OKAY!
about...I think it was a full year before Jersey Girl hit the theatres,
my friend Amy (who is an
says 'Hey I've got tickets to a screening of the new Kevin Smith movie,
you wanna go', and my response is a Freakazoid-esque 'DO I!' followed
by the two of us heading to said theatre. We just missed out on
the whole feedback panel after, apparently our little...card thingies
they made us fill out were too positive or some shit. Whatever, it's all
this is really less about Amy and I, and more about the film itself. I
am not ashamed to say we bawled like little bitches through a lot of this
movie (I'm a girl, I am allowed to bawl like a little bitch at movies,
although it's very rare that I DO bawl like a little bitch at movies.
Have I said bawl like a little bitch enough? Let's repeat it again just
to be sure - bawled like little bitches. There we go.), because it was
just that good. The acting performances were all just fantastic,
the story was really moving, and you really felt for Ben Affleck's character
and his loss, and felt for the little girl and her loss, and the whole
movie was just unbearably sweet and so, so good. Not in that cloying,
sugary too sweet to be true annoying way, but in that honest, truthful,
this is life sweetness that so many films try really hard to capture,
but never manage to do.
and I both wrote good things about the movie, and we didn't really have
a lot of bad things to say about it, because it was a damn fine piece
of film - it wasn't Oscar worthy material or anything, but it was one
of those movies that just left you feeling warm and fuzzy and thinking
about shit when you left the theatre, which is just...how it should be,
right? Right. So we didn't get picked to stay after for the panel, which
is a pity because that would have been fun, but it was all right because
we saw this movie well in advance of when it was supposed to come out,
and it was a really good movie and I recommended it to my friends, and
told them that they should really go see the thing when it hit theatres
because it was just fucking good, and a really sharp contrast to what
Smith was usually known for in movies, and it was a really refreshing
have never eaten so many of my words in my life. Movie hits the theaters,
my friends tell me they don't understand why I recommended it because
it was corny and dumb. Confused by this, I went to see the movie, and
saw for myself what they were complaining about.
a movie goes through a lot of evolution between when the director says
'cut' that final time, and when you actually pay money to go see it on
the big screen. You have these screener sessions with test audiences to
see what needs to be refined and cut, and edit the movie accordingly until
you've got the best possible product to stick out there, right? This is
how I understand it anyway.
this movie had come out called 'Gigli', and it was a complete flop, dismal
failure, wreck of a movie that starred Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
- who were also playing the couple in Jersey Girl. I can only surmise
that people at the screeners were terribly negative about Lopez's presence
in the film, because nearly all of the back-and-forth interaction
between her and Affleck was shredded out of the film. All the parts that
showed them falling in love, and that they were really in love, and those
moments where you realized just how much they meant to each other were
this occurs, it shouldn't be a big deal, but in this film it was - because
Lopez's character dies suddenly in childbirth, leaving Affleck to raise
this little girl all by himself, sans his true love, and in the screener
it was absolutely heartbreaking - when he cried, it was that heartbroken
sobbing of someone who's lost the one person that makes life worth living.
In...the theatrical release, with all of the cut shit, suddenly you have
Affleck carrying on and crying dramatically over his loss but you just...don't...feel
the loss. So instead of being heartbreaking, it's...funny - we had people
laughing at him in the theatres, at a point where Amy and I were crying
our little hearts out (like little bitches) in the screener because we
just felt so HORRIBLE for this character.
else in the film hinges on the fact that this dude really, really loved
his wife, and that he's dealing with that loss, and with raising this
little girl that was left, and dealing with the fact that mom is not there,
wife is not there, love of his life is not there. In the screener, this
was a really good film about love and loss, and trying to get back on
your feet after experiencing a loss like that, and about getting on with
your life. In the theatrical release, the movie was just...a shambles
of some dude who lost this chick he married and had hysterics over it
which was kinda funny and then took care of a little girl and funny shit
happened. The emotions came across as contrived, trite, and utterly cheesy,
unrealistic and dumb. Like the actors were gingerly stepping around each
other and then suddenly exploding into emotion, and being awkwardly apologetic
about it afterwards. The motivation for these emotions was never really
made clear, and it just made for an astoundingly awkward movie, which
really pissed me off, because I LOVED that movie that I saw when Amy and
I got those free tickets. I really, really loved it. That other movie?
That other movie was just a shitty piece of film and I felt bad for recommending
it to my friends.
don't really blame Smith for this. I know he can write a damn good piece
of film, I WATCHED a really fucking good piece of film, and then I saw
what happened after it went through the shredder. I bought the DVD when
it came out, hoping I'd see those scenes that I fell in love with at the
screening, but no such luck. I still have the DVD, can't really bear to
part with it, but I haven't really watched it since the first time I popped
it in the player and wistfully remembered that really awesome movie I
saw once upon a time that was kinda like the one I was watching on my
TV only a million times better.
moral of this story? There's not really a moral, except that maybe I shouldn't
go see screenings, if I'm going to be that disappointed by the final product,
Kevin Smith doesn't suck. Unless he was the one responsible for all of
those edits. In which case - dude, god damn. Why the hell did you do that,
fuckin christ man, seriously.
that is all.