This review could be considered a spoiler, it’d be hard for me to write anything without talking about how the movie ends.
This so didn’t take the path I expected it to take, and I don’t know how to feel about it. The movie ends with all the key players in jail and Dante ready to go and make amends with his fiancée who he kinda pisses off over the course of the movie, and he’s going to leave with her even though he’s in love with the boss at Mooby’s, and start a well-to-do life in Florida which he’s not sure he wants, but at least it’s better than working in a fast-food restaurant forever. Randall then makes a genuinely emotional appeal to Dante not to leave and says they should buy the Quik Stop (which burns down at the beginning of the movie, hence the Mooby’s jobs) and run it themselves, and this is where they end: back where they began.
Of course my first feeling on leaving this movie is pretty warm, re-assured, hopeful, it feels right and good and kinda beautiful. But I really, really thought Kevin Smith’s plan was to get them the hell out of there. I don’t know if it’s right to send the message out there that some people just do end up working in hellholes all their lives. Like, I know, they do, and when it comes down to it, there’s nothing wrong with that, but something in me just isn’t comfortable with someone saying it like it’s something to aspire to, lol. Here Randall quotes one of my favourite lines from the first movie, the “Shit or get off the pot” monologue and it’s a little weird because while in the first movie Smith seemed to be saying, “do something or stop whining,” he seems to have reduced that now simply to, “you can’t do anything about it but at least stop whining.”
But despite my uneasiness about this aspect of the movie – and I might just be still reeling from an ending I just never in a million years saw coming, that came out of the blue and really got me pretty deeply – I’ve gotta say, I loved it, I loved just about everything about it. I don’t know why I ever let the gossip and the reviews make me doubt Kevin Smith, I’m one of the few people who actually adores Jersey Girl, his ‘worst’. I even loved the colour photography, it’s probably one of the most colourful adult movies of the year. I also loved the structural parallels with the first movie. I don’t know if this is laziness or creativity on Kevin Smith’s part – just like I don’t know whether a lot of his dialogue just sounds like it was ripped from IMDb message boards or if he literally did rip it from IMDb message boards, lol – but in both cases, either way, it works for me. Then there’s the song and dance number … love it.
Y’know – I’m reading through the IMDb board for this movie and I’m just seeing words like pillowpants, porch monkey (“It’s alright, I’m takin’ it back!”), etc, lines like, “I made fun of ‘Lord of the Rings’ so hard some supergeek puked all over the counter,” and laughing all over again. This is probably the most Kevin Smith Kevin Smith movie in nearly ten years since Chasing Amy, and it startles me how much I missed him.