Jersey Girl

Rated 2.0 Kevin Smith gets cute, perhaps a little too cute, with this well-meaning but sometimes goofy story about a Manhattan bigwig (Ben Affleck) who loses his wife (Jennifer Lopez) during childbirth and must raise his daughter (Raquel Castro) alone. Smith, who has shown a knack for obscenity and true-to-life dialogue in past films like Clerks and Chasing Amy, cleans things up for a family picture that has sporadic moments of sincerity, but sometimes drifts into melodrama and inappropriate wackiness. In fact, I was pretty much sitting on the fence for this one until its strange finale, where the cast partakes in a school pageant performance of Sweeney Todd. The finale feels like it should have been in another film. Affleck has his moments, but there are times where he overdoes the sentiment. Castro nearly saves the film with her sparkplug performance as the motherless child, while seems a bit miscast as Affleck’s dad. Not a totally bad film, but easily the least satisfying of Smith’s career.