THE INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES REVIEWED
“The Incredible Jessica James” slipped into my screener pile about a week or so ago. Whenever I see something like this from Netflix, I automatically assume it is a TV show. After watching the film twice, I realize that this could’ve been a far better extended pilot than a film. Jessica Williams is solid as the lead, but I’m not sure if any of this could be considered new. I get the appeal in casting a Daily Show alumnus as the lead in a smart romantic comedy. But, the material doesn’t feel quite up to Williams’ ability.
Moments are funny, but they’re not funny. Forced relationship connections feel like they exist just to comment on larger issues. Relationships don’t occur naturally in the film. Going closer near the end, there’s a moment where Williams is teaching kids about storytelling perspective. While there is a chance to get all deep and meta, every moment of the scene feels like a coded lecture. That’s where the film lost me, but I appreciated the journey.
The romantic comedy is deader than disco. Many try to reinvent the material, but ultimately people are going to bone or they’re not going to bone. Trying to fill a quota between coital moments is just wheel spinning. If it didn’t work in “Trainwreck”, then what’s the point in going back to it? Hell, if the romantic aspects of the film were cut in favor of Williams’ work with the kid play-writing workshop, a stronger story would’ve emerged.
My patience for urbanites whining about how people don’t get them is at an end. But, I appreciate Netflix attempting to tweak a formula with a cast that plays stronger. Give it a stream and decide for yourself.
- 1 hr and 25 mins
- Not Rated