My husband, his 20-year old niece, her 17-year old friend and I went to a sneak preview of Jersey Girl last night and we all enjoyed it, the girls especially so. It's a small little film that's cute, sweet, endearing and funny, with enough tragic overtones (the mother's death is never forgotten) to give it a bit of a melancholy edge. The basic plot: Ben Affleck plays Ollie Trinke, a high-powered publicist in Manhattan who meets, falls deeply in love with and marries Gertrude, played with sweet sparkle by Jennifer Lopez. Her part, unfortunately, has been cut down to near nothingness, but you still get an idea of why Ollie loves her and why he's so devastated when she suffers an aneurysm during childbirth and dies. He's not prepared to be a father to the baby Gertie and moves back to New Jersey to stay with his father Bart, played by the excellent George Carlin. Ollie loses his job (thanks to Will Smith, a running gag). Fast forward several years when the realistically cute Raquel Castro plays Gertie at age 7. Liv Tyler's funny and adorable Maya comes into their lives and brightens their world. To say any more would give away the numerous nice and funny little moments that make the film. Is it a great film? No, but we all were very glad we saw it. It's a small film. It's not Oscar bait material that's trying to be something it's not. Not everyone will like it, but because of the Ben-Jen legacy, those who won't like it will have a field day trying to make this into another Gigli (which, I'd bet, wasn't itself a Gigli) just because they can, and because they need things to tear down Cynics should just stay away. Just as Big Fish (a far better film) was a father/son movie, Jersey Girl is a father/daughter movie (btw, little Gertie is the "Jersey Girl" of the title), and a very nice one at that.