Which is key. Because whereas the earlier movies Smith made were about being a disenfranchised slacker, his subject matter has grown up along with him, and now he's exploring what it is to be a father, a son, and a husband.
Although not for every long in this particular film, since the wife (ironically played by Jennifer Lopez) dies in childbirth almost before the opening credits are finished. But Smith explores the father and son roles thoroughly though his avatar, Ben Affleck.
It's a different sort of Kevin Smith movie, more mature. It is almost universally agreed that this film most closely resembles Chasing Amy, yet it is nothing like it at the same time. It's got a few trite-and-tired cliches, the sort (as is also almost universally agreed) that Smith used to mock in his scripts: the big city person reduced to life in the suburbs which they try to escape, to no avail, only to realise that they like smalltown life (Raising Helen, much?) and the parent who's late for the child's big performance (although to be fair, most of the parents aren't actually in the perfomance with the child. And while the cliches are twisted in the way only Kevin Smith and twist them (the school performance includes a scene from "Sweeney Todd" and the suburban grownups all swear in front of the kids), they're still cliches.
Still, it's a cute movie, with a great, ironically sarcastic, witty script, good acting and some lovely moments. George Carlin is proving himself to be a restrained and decent character actor, vastly different from his stand-up persona, and Raquel Castro, the little girl, not only looks as though she could be Bennifer's daughter, but she can really act. I was really impressed with her; she's not sticky sweet, like that Pepsi-ad girl, but rather more like a more ethnic, tougher version of Dakota Fanning. I hope we see more of her.
Jersey Girl isn't a typical Kevin Smith movie, but it's not bad. It may just be the one that wins more women over to his version of the dark side...