January 30, 2005

long before ben and liv stunk up the screen...

Jami Gertz and Dylan McDermott once starred in a film entitled Jersey Girl. I do believe it was one of those straight-to-video jobs... and with good reason. I discovered it at a video store years back and even though I knew it would be wretched, I rented it because sometimes I like to be enraged. And sure enough, it did the trick.

You know, I always liked Jami Gertz. I simply adore the scene in Sixteen Candles where she cuts Caroline's hair after it gets stuck in the door. It kills me. And hello, she was in Square Pegs!! That garners mucho props from me. I've even issued Tracy Nelson a lifetime free pass because she starred in that beloved short-lived sitcom. But despite Jami's impressive 80s pedigree, I still haven't quite forgiven her for this film.

In between loads of laundry and Swiffering my tiny wee studio, I plopped down on my couch to watch a bit of TV this afternoon. I stumbled upon Jersey Girl on WE and because I'm a masochist, I watched it through to the end. Hell, I even paused it when I had to retrieve my second load from the dryer. I figured that maybe this time around I'd find some redeeming quality or that I'd hate it less perhaps. Yeah, age has not mellowed my response to this piece of crap. It's horrid, absolutely horrid.

In a nutshell, Jami's character, Toby, is a cheeseball preschool teacher who lives in Bloomfield, NJ and has it bad for "classy" Sal (Dylan McDermott) from Manhattan. To Toby and, judging by the script, all residents of New Jersey, Sal is THE bastion of taste and refinement. He's the reason all Jerseyites should slouch and feel inadequate. Um, I should add that McDermott's character is a salesman originally from Queens. To those of you who haven't been, Queens is just like New Jersey but without all the tolls and with better Greek food. Let's not kid ourselves here.

Of course Toby has a pile of petrified hair atop her scalp, tawks like dis and is loathe to attach the letter "r" or the suffix "ing" to words requiring them. Can I just say that I grew up about 10-15 minutes east of Bloomfield (closer to NYC if you're doing the mental cartography) and while I exhibit a regional dialect, I DO NOT SOUND LIKE THAT!!!! Even worse, Jami Gertz's attempt at an accent sucked. It was all over the place with bits of stereotypical Jersey interspersed with something resembling a Midwestern accent. Sure enough, I just looked Jami up on IMDB and she's from Chicago. I knew it! The dialect coach and screenwriter on this project deserve to be taken out back and worked over. I'd give them both a tour of Jersey they wouldn't soon forget, let me tell you.

What REALLY pissed me off was the movie's recurring theme that everyone in NJ feels inferior to their New York neighbors. Um, do those of you outside the NY area know that Staten Island is part of New York City? Not just New York state -- NEW YORK CITY. It's a borough just like Manhattan and it smells, has garbage dumps, dirty beaches and loud people who wear pinky rings. The same can be said for parts of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, while I'm at it.

Now granted, I had a bit of an inferiority complex when I lived in NJ and I've since moved to NYC but that's just me. Trust me when I tell you that there are residents of my home state who don't give a fuck what goes on in New York. In fact, they'd rather eat a steaming shit sandwich than cross the Hudson. And they're fine with it. They're not in awe of New York nor are they intimidated. They just don't care. It's not my way necessarily but more power to them, I say. As a matter of fact, I will gladly join them in giving the old Jersey Wave to anyone who disdainfully uses the term B&T (bridge and tunnel) to describe them. People like that can bite me. Hard.

Oooooooooh, look at me getting all pissy and protective of my homeland! I think I might just have to go get me some Coors Light to wash down my macaronis and gravy while I rock out to "Badlands." Dirty Jerzee REPRESENT!