This month for Catching Up, I have finally put my foot down on getting caught up on Kevin Smith's non- Jay & Silent Bob movie collection. I consider myself a Kevin Smith fan based on those movies, as well as his 'Evening' trilogy, but I haven't really bothered much with anything else he's made for some reason. Once I finish this month's series of reviews, I'll be all caught up on what I've seen. I also hope that some of the others turn out a bit like this one, in that, I find it's honestly not quite as bad as people let on.
A media publicist in New York City named Ollie Trinké (Ben Affleck) is living a happy life with his wife, Gertie (Jennifer Lopez), but it only goes as far as the birth of their first child, where Gertie tragically dies in childbirth. At first, Ollie is distressed and puts his work in the path of his childcare, passing things off to his father, Bart (George Carlin). The stress gets the better of him one day when he flat out insults Will Smith in front of too many reporters, makes a public ass of himself, gets fired, and moves in with Bart in New Jersey along with the baby, who he names after Gertie. After his screw up, he promises the baby Gertie that he'll be a better father, and presumably becomes a great father over the next 7 years.
Now 7, Gertie (Raquel Castro) has a bit of an obsession with renting movies from the local video store, where they both meet the lovely Maya (Liv Tyler) who soon enters their lives. To make a lot of this short, much of the rest of the film eventually leads to Ollie's struggle between the happiness of his old life and the comfort of his new life. Everyone he loves, including an impressionable Gertie, is perfectly happy with their lives, but there's a big part of Ollie that ends up wanting his old life back. It's a movie that plays with the ideas of parenthood, and just how complicated a situation can get. That said, it's pretty predictable as far as its ending goes, but at the same time, I do find it to be a sweet movie - even if it's a little over the top with the drama sometimes.
Usually, this is toted as one of Smith's worst titles, but I sincerely think there are worse. I'd say one of the more important things to keep in mind as far as Kevin Smith is concerned is that he makes movies for his fans, not critics, and he also creates from the heart. There's a bit of a personal touch to his movies, no matter what he's creating, and this one was a dedication to his late father. It was also inspired by his own life as a new father to one, Harley Quinn Smith, so to truly criticize this movie just feels like a dick move to me.
If I had to pull something from it to nitpick about, it's that it often gets a bit overdramatic, and some of it's heavy-handed. But I just can't reach that deeply into this to look for the dirt. I see it as a love letter to his Dad and his Daughter more than anything, and I can't bring myself to pick on that, or be selfish about not getting what I thought I was gonna get. Actually, I got pretty well what I figured. I just thought it was sweet, and though it's not without its problems, I've seen much worse. It's a simple slice of life kind of story, and I think it gets much more flack than it deserves. It won't be for everyone, but if you're a Smith fan and haven't checked it out yet, you might surprise yourself.
Leave a Reply.