Jersey Girl (2004)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) marries the girl of his dreams (Jennifer Lopez), but tragedy sends Ollie back to single status after less than a year of wedded bliss. Well, not exactly single, since now he is the father of a baby girl. Fatherhood is not compatible with his high-pressure public relations career in New York, so Ollie moves in with his father, Bart (George Carlin), a street cleaner in New Jersey. In spite of the fatherson bickering over how to care for a baby, Gertie (Raquel Castro) becomes a six-year-old with the wisdom of a grown-up and the center of Ollies devotion. At the neighborhood video store, Ollie and Gertie meet Maya (Liv Tyler) who quickly grasps Ollies loneliness by the pornographic videos he selects. Jersey Girls contrasts of big city sophistication versus small town traditions yield some funny situations and touching conflicts as three generations learn to live under the same roof in harmony. Will Smith, Jason Lee and Matt Damon make cameo appearances in this comedic drama.

Its rated PG-13, but this film was challenged to change to an R rating. The themes of commitment, family values and letting go of the past will appeal to mostly conservative audiences. However, the coarse language and sexual frankness will offend that same group. A prolonged scene of Ollie changing the diaper of his month-old infant in a crowded room stretches the boundaries of good taste. Likewise, a scene of Gertie and a little boy pulling down their pants to satisfy their curiosity, though innocent and free of nudity, may be too explicit for many. When Ollie and Maya meet, she bluntly asks him about his sex life and habits of self-gratification. She feels it is her duty to relieve him of his sexual tension even though he has shown no interest in her. Their one attempt to have sex is interrupted when Gertie enters the bedroom. Add to that, crusty old Bart and his cronies spew out more than 50 bad words, and you have a good story corrupted by filmmakers who misjudge their audience.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (17) times mild (hell 4, damn 3); moderate (boobs 1, other 5); strong (ass 4)

Obscene Language: Many (30) times strong (f-word 1, s-word 26, other 3)

Profanity: Many (22) times moderate (MG 1, G 1, G-sake 1); strong (GD 3, J 5, C 2, JC 8, C-sake 1)

Violence: None

Sex: None (reference to couple living together before marriage, couple interrupted in bedroom)

Nudity: Once mild (babys genitals)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times strong (frank comments about self-gratification and sexual needs, children comparing body parts)

Drugs: Few times mild (some drinking in bar, no drunkenness)

Other: Themes include importance of commitment to family over career, learning to let go of the past, and reconciliation and forgiveness; some bathroom humor including child learning to flush toilet and the changing of a dirty diaper)

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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