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  • farleym-194425 January 2019
    I was excited to learn of this movies existence because I have a major crush on Jessica Williams and have eaten up every performance of Chris O'Doud I can find. A major disappointment. Why would anyone fall for Jessica James? She is ill mannered and not at all warm. O'Doud character had little depth. All in all it went nowhere and it wasn't a lot of fun not getting there.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A few funny lines, one heart warming moment, and a ton of awkwardly fake sounding forced scenarios... a selfish girl learns to go through life and ends the movie learning to continue being selfish to her the new guy that is falling for her. I don't see the reason this movie was made.
  • This movie needs to be better for the sake of women, artists, and people off color. The only funny thing about this "comedy" is Chris O'Dowd. The woman who plays Jessica has zero emotional range and seems like a caricature of black woman (please, please, please don't say "dope"). She comes across as a complete inconsiderate idiot in the opening credits when she drops some other guy's laundry on the floor while dancing through the halls, and literally asks about no other person's life in the entire film. She uses her sister's baby shower as an excuse to ridicule people who live their lives differently than her. She explains that she likes "dialogue driven" work that explores the human condition and rags on Cats, but her actual "play" in the movie is a ridiculous reworking of a small child's broken birthday. So small and pathetic. Women writers do so much more and this is a mockery of female art... because the whole movie was written by a man who doesn't know better.
  • tlarraya22 September 2017
    This movie isn't what you would expect from a romantic comedy. It's not uplifting. There is no love really. Just some witty conversation that it's not necessarily funny. I found it disappointing a bit of a waste of time. The acting wasn't good except for Chris O'Dowd (The IT Crowd) who is always a pleasure to watch and is the only positive thing about this movie.
  • Although this film isn't all that generic in the scope of your typical romantic comedy, and has a decent balance between comedy and drama throughout, it unfortunately falls down due to one simple feature: the main character. With a very unlikable central personality (despite a decent performance from Jessica Williams), and a screenplay with a pretty vague perspective on her behaviour, it's very difficult to come round to like anything about this film, ultimately proving a far more irritating watch than the charming quirkiness it wants to flaunt so much.

    But before we get into that, let's look on the positive side, firstly with the fact that the film does pretty well to avoid the worst tropes of the romantic comedy genre, and provide a fairly engaging watch throughout. It's not a story that will have you fully engrossed in any of the characters, but the great thing is that it never goes so far as to pull in unoriginal genre tropes to save a less-than-stellar story, always pushing on with something a little different, and that's pretty admirable to see.

    Also, it's not really a drag. Despite its failings in developing convincing or even likable characters, the film does manage to balance its comedic and dramatic side pretty well throughout, and manages to keep things on the comedic front as genuine and human as possible, something that comes through very well in the on screen performances and chemistry between Jessica Williams and Chris O'Dowd, while the drama is decent enough to remain moderately engaging throughout, effectively interspersed with good light-hearted breaks.

    That's not to say the film is a properly funny one, because it's not really there to make you laugh out loud, but what it does do well is manage itself when it comes to being a proper drama, and uses humour well to keep things light, and as such more enjoyable than it could have been.

    Unfortunately, all of those positives do fall into the shadows when it comes to the film's glaring flaw right in the middle: the supposedly 'incredible' Jessica James. I'll stress that the issues with the central character aren't really anything to do with Williams' performance, but it's the personality that's written for her, and the atmosphere surrounding her in the rest of the story, that really lets the film down as a whole.

    Firstly, it's clear that the film wants to show Jessica James as a strong-willed, independent young woman with forward-thinking ideals, and yet still doesn't have everything about her life as together as she'd like. Now, a strong and confident central character is fair enough, but this screenplay unfortunately goes too far in that regard, and she becomes a downright aggressive and genuinely unpleasant person at times.

    There's a big difference between being a quirky outsider with ambitions that others don't understand and just being cold and unpleasant to others, and unfortunately Jessica James is far closer to the latter than she should be, making coming round to her side when she's going through various difficulties very hard.

    However, what's worse is the fact that the film as a whole doesn't seem to want her to change and become a better person. If there is character development here, Jessica James becomes a more worldly and wise character, but nothing about her rather unpleasant personality really changes from start to finish.

    What's even stranger is that the film seems to know that she's cold and a little aggressive, and yet chooses to do nothing about it. There's one sequence in which she returns to her family in Ohio, disgusted by the fact that she has to hang around with boring countryside folk in comparison to her modern NYC lifestyle, and constantly preaching her amazing ideas and beliefs, shoving them in the faces of her perfectly harmless and pleasant family.

    And yet, despite being shown as clearly ungrateful and uncaring in that sequence, the screenplay doesn't really act on it, and allows her to continue behaving in such a way for the remainder of the story, something that really struck me as a wrong move, given that it just made it harder and harder for me to understand exactly where the film's perspective on this woman lies, and made for a very frustrating watch.

    Overall, The Incredible Jessica James isn't a bad film, and with decent acting, a non-generic story, and good humour, it can be enjoyable, but it all falls down due to its central focus, a very unlikable and inconsistent central character that's by no means 'incredible' like the title suggests.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The main character was too forward, her communication with her students was terrible/unprofessional in some instances, she was arrogant in some instances, unprofessional in some instances (when she was waiting at an event and very rude in many instances. I think the lead character is annoying and a not so good example for anyone.
  • Everything is terrible about this movie: plot, acting, message... Run away from it! I watched it until the end although I couldn't believe my eyes. I had to be sure it wouldn't turn out ok at some point. It doesn't! I wish I could unwatch it! Why such bad choices??? Why waste time and money? Why???
  • Jessica james is meant to be likeable, confident and endearing but comes off as rude and self-absorbed. Her honesty is just insulting others and not having a filter. The dancing sequence in the beginning gives off that shes energetic and lively but the performance was incredibly flat which didnt help illuminate this one-dimensional character. Aside from that, all the supporting characters seem to have no personality, her one friend in the movies only personality trait seems to be that shes a lesbian, chris o'doud does a good job with the character considering his only two traits are he's divorced and funny. The writer doesn't understand that people who live outside of new york arent all normie betty sues who apparently dont know what "the system" is. Theres a lot of well-written confident female protagonists and this is a manual of how not to write them.
  • I fast forwarded over every scene involving Jessica and her acting class. Child actors are ghastly. Watching child actors play child actors is even worse. This was a pointless, vapid film. Sorry I wasted my time on it. Why does Netflix present such empty crapola?
  • So I came into this as a fan of Jessica Williams from the Daily Show, and hoping I would enjoy the film. It starts out a little rough, as I found Jessica's acting to be a little wooden, but as the movie went on, I felt like her acting really improved, especially with all of her scenes with her students. The beginning of the film is definitely the weakest part, as the character isn't likable, and the dialogue especially with her friend felt very forced. However, similar to her acting, as the movie progressed it greatly improved.

    At its core, this movie is a retread of just about every Romantic Comedy cliché, but surrounding this core is the meat of the film examining a modern day artistic black woman that came from a broken family. The movie examines a lot of Jessica's backstory through her teaching of the children in her class, where she's trying to pass on her love of creative writing and acting and helping them realize they can do whatever they want in their lives. One student especially mirrors Jessica, as she's a young intelligent black girl whose parents have recently divorced. The movie examines a lot of interesting aspects here, as Jessica turns very vindictive and mean when the student wants to go to six flags for her father's weekend with her instead of a writing retreat. I really enjoyed how the film resolved this conflict, and all of these scenes were probably my favorite parts of the film.

    For the romantic comedy part of this film, it's again an interesting take on common tropes. She has a blind date with Chris O'Dowd, and both of them are still in love with their exes, but in spite of their disinterest in a new relationship it starts to form on its own. I enjoyed that the guy wasn't just some guy for her to date, he also has a lot of problems, and their growing relationship feels real as they have pretty good chemistry. There are some odd dream sequences though, where Jessica meets up with her ex, and the scenes read as they're actually happening, but then something crazy happens and it's revealed to have been a dream all along. I understand the dreams purpose, as they're Jessica working through her relationship in her mind, but I just wish it was more apparent they were dream sequences.

    There are some really funny moments intermixed with the relationship stuff, along with some really funny scenes when she goes to visit her family. Unfortunately, the scenes with her family were a little too black and white, unlike the rest of the film. Perhaps it was because the writer/director strongly dislikes his family, and it comes out in the movie. It seems like all they do is judge Jessica, and they don't have any redeeming factors.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the film despite its flaws, and I would recommend it if you have Netflix. If you'd like to see my video version of this review, you can check it out here:
  • This is one of back to back Netflix films I've watched. This is from one of the best directors, but he has not done many films or with big stars, big projects. I've liked all his films, but this one was an average. There's nothing wrong in performances or in writing, directing and production. It's just not so fresh. I felt it trying to be another 'Frances Ha'. For a movie goer like me, this is quite okay film, but for regular people, it could do better.

    The story of a young woman who just broke up, but focusing more than ever on her dream to be a play writer. In the meantime, she meets another man who recently divorced. Her lifestyle, best friend, all things that's happening around her revealed with some fun. The film was not that great, but surely not a boring film. The dream/imagination sequences spoiled my watch. Because it only brought a false hope. I thought those scenes were better than how the real story progressed. That says, sometimes cliches are okay than being plain. It did not work, but I still suggest to go for it if you are interested. No one should ignore it, only because I did not enjoy it!

  • The horror is seeing the great Chris O'dowd belittling himself to be in this trash. The jessica character is beyond unlikable...she is...a horror...

    Making a sign to some poor guy on the subway to close his legs so she can sit down.

    Throwing some guys laundry on the ground.

    Just a horrible woman, horrible character, I will never ever watch anything with this horrible woman in it.

    She is so horrible someone needs to make an app that if her presence is detected in any form in something one is preparing to view, the device explodes.

    C'mon Chris, you can't be that hard up for work.

    Don't get sucked into such trash anymore, please.
  • aannmarie-4426723 March 2020
    This was a failed attempt at comedy put together by by bad writing and bad acting. The main character Jessica is loved by all for being rude and overly blunt and the entire thing gets real old real quick. I gave it three stars because it had potential.
  • Jessica the main character has been dumped by her boyfriend (although as the movie progresses it becomes unclear as to who actually dumped who?), and takes comfort in teaching young kids about playwriting. But here's the thing... This movie is all about promoting the whole self-absorbed, self-gratifying, self-focused attitude of the me, me generation. Everything and everyone should revolve around the ME. But those children she takes comfort in working with wouldn't exist if everyone were to adopt that self-absorbed stance. When children arrive on the scene, ME must be parked at the door. ME must take a back seat and your time and dedication and love must be focused towards THEM. This is the only way it can work. So a lie is being sold to the younger generation through movies like this. If it's always going to be about the ME, then it can never be about the US, get it?

    Apart from the 'message' being promoted, this movie fails on so many other levels. Every scene involving the kids (and there are quite a few) is cringe-worthy. It's like as if the writer had no real experience of children, because they're not like real kids and more like a caricature of what they expect kids should be like. Her 'best friend' is also a self-gratifying caricature of a ME person, totally lacking any depth of personality. The only redeeming aspect of this movie are a couple of scenes she has with Chris O'Dowd, but even these are hampered by poor dialogue.

    A couple of nights before watching this abomination I saw another movie about relationships. "Blue Jay" is the polar opposite of this movie, a superbly acted, scripted and executed little gem, which basically consists of two people talking over an afternoon/evening. But Blue Jay is about people and not about the agenda, so probably wouldn't even register with the victims of the ME generation who have given up on rational thought.
  • I knew nothing about this movie when it popped up on my Netflix ... and I'm happy to say that it grabbed my interest right away. The story line isn't very novel at all, but what makes the movie worthwhile is a very unusually unorthodox female lead, brilliantly portrayed by Jessica Williams. She is feisty and fun and totally unhinged at the same time.

    Sure, there are flaws to be found on this movie in retrospect but all in all I can recommend it.
  • And being of a certain age, as in not a teenager anymore I should add. It is also kind of refreshing, because the people in this feel real, the dialog feels real and the situation in general may feel like something you either experienced or can see yourself experiencing. It's really well played and very well written and it is also very akward at times. But sweet akward.

    So while you may know the main female lead as a comedian in sketches in comedy shows, she is able to spread her wings and be that character in this movie. It does indeed feel as though she is incredible as is the movie itself. It is romantic of course and this has to be something you are willing to watch, otherwise the general drama will not be enough for you.
  • This film is clever, endearing, witty, embarrassing, frustrating. It captures everything about the human condition. I can relate to the emotions showed by both the female and male lead.

    The writing is witty and well observed. The characters are multi-dimensional. They frustrate and delight in equal measure. The acting is fantastic. its well cast right through. Even the Children seem natural and in no way jarring or out of place.

    I dont want to give any of the main plot points away but its about typical late 20s plus relationships. We all have baggage by this point and its just a tale of two people trying to find there way after getting out of serious relationships.

    I loved it. People seemed to love it or hate it. I wanted to just say something about these haters. It frustrates me that when most people give a 7/8 the score get brought down by people going fully the opposite way without a real explanation. I could see why you give this a 5/6 if its not your taste but anything 3 and under is just petulant I wanted to examine the bad reviews this has had.

    THE BAD REVIEWS. Don't go by the numbers. This film hasn't been seen/reviewed enough yet and I'm sure it will go up. To illistarte the point I wanted to have a look at the 15 reviews (at the time of writing) its had.

    I believe the reason this has averaged under is 7 is illustrated by the user reviews. People who like it, LOVE it. Lots of 10/10, most 7+. Then there are the people who disliked it. (3 at the time) and they ALL gave it a 3/10. There seems to be not much middle ground. I recommend you read the (SO FAR) 3 bad reviews before watching, they won't spoil the film. They will make you think WTF were they watching.

    REVIEW 1. complained that it wasn't uplifting enough - I think they were expecting THE NOTE BOOK. They also didn't like the acting. To give perspective, they also said the new Bladerunner was a 1/10 because it was "too long" and Dunkirk was "Just OK". So maybe just don't take there word for it. REWIEW 2. The second 3/10 was only 4 lines long and said said "Right-minded people are gonna love this movie" and "It just doesn't fit (with them)" So yeah, I guess if you're not of your right mind you may dislike it? wtf. REVIEW 3 haha THE third said AND I QUOTE... "This movie needs to be better for the sake of women, artists and people off color." Yeah people "OFF COLOR" Just for the record, RACE is NEVER a feature in this. The relationships, friends and lovers are of various background and ITS NEVER mentioned. Nobody mentions it. All stupid spelling aside, to start a review like this just shows you where this review came from.
  • The reviews are really not encouraging, in my opinion a lovely movie, wonderful acting and wonderful friendship that is forged between a man and a woman. Highly recommended!
  • How many dramas have you ever seen that do not have murder? scares? Nope you do not need any of those distractions for this incredible Jessica Jones. I really enjoyed the fun loving character that was real and enjoyable to watch, New York is like that and more but that is one of the lives that people choose to live in a big city with so many men or women to choose from. It is really inspiring to see a real person to admit they are wrong but even more so to show it on a big screen and develop its character to a much better person towards the end. This movie is full of homes, wants, needs and at the end doing the right thing selflessly for the pursuit of others happiness. great job. You made me not swipe left on tender thumbs up.
  • I have never written a review in my entire life, but felt compelled to write one just to express my upset. I wish I hadn't seen it because I hate it so much I know I will remember it, at least if it was mediocre I might have forgotten it....It is generally just pointless, achieves nothing, goes nowhere, not funny, the actors are crap - I am not sure if they were characterised to be passive aggressive, superficial, in-genuine and inauthentic but that's how they come across. All around crap and my standards are not usually very high. Please don't waste time watching this film, I don't understand how anyone says anything good to say about it - it's just so annoying. Don't waste an 1h 23mins of life time and energy please.
  • The Incredible Jessica James is an anachronistic throwback to the female centric rom/coms of the 90's like Party Girl where our protagonist is a whiz in everything in her life except the matters of the heart. Competently made & acted, this film is the equivalent of a nice brief breeze that comforts you but soon is gone.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Incredible Jessica James: Written and directed by Jim Strouse

    For the third film in the Netflix original series, we have a different type of film from the other two, we have a little comedy about a struggling playwright dealing with a break up and finding herself falling for a divorced app developer.

    I'm not much for indie romantic comedies but I thought I would give this movie a try. I wanted the Netflix original movies to be different with each film I watch. I've seen Jessica Williams' work on The Daily Show and this is her feature starring debut. This is a movie that is built entirely around her persona. Let me say if she bothers you in anyway, leave this movie immediately. I enjoyed her performance. There were several chuckles in places and she had personality and charisma to spare.

    This is a fairly innocous movie overall. It follows romantic comedy formula but tweaks enough things to fit within the character's purview. It has more to do with moving on from life's failures rather than allowing them to drag you down. Once you've done that then anything is possible.

    It does show a wide variety of sides of this character. It shows her recognizing a similar life situation and talent in a child and wanting to do everything she can to foster that but not knowing how to in a healthy way per se. It shows how she deals with what may be unrealistic goals.

    It is a solid little movie that is enjoyable from beginning to end. It lives and dies on how you react and understand the main character but then again look at the title. I give this movie a C.
  • As the star and executive producer for this movie Jessica Williams was involved with the development of the character and the story of The Incredible Jessica James from concept to creation. Ms. Williams is famous for her reports on racism, sexism, and homophobia as a Daily Show correspondent and she gives a more personal take on gender and race as the co-host of the podcast 2 Dope Queens. She spoke at the Women's March at Sundance saying "If you are a minority, please know that you are valid. Your thoughts and your feelings are valid. I stand with you, I hope you stand with me." Jessica Williams truly is incredible and given all of this, it is no surprise that this movie smoothly passes not only the Bechdel test, but also the DuVernay test (race), AND the Russo test (lgbtq). Excellent movie! #RedirectOurScript
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love the fact that Netflix et al are making lots of these smaller films and allowing more voices to be heard. With that said I wish that these small features didn't feel the need to be bound to the same rules as theater released movies, namely the length. This would have worked a lot better at 60 minutes than 22 minutes beyond that.

    If people are going to dance in your movie teach them to dance first. Moving around like you're in the throes of an epileptic seizure is pretty far from dancing, like a child banging on keys isn't piano playing.

    "Hey, everybody, guess what? This is your one and only life. What do you want to tell people about it?" One of the best lines she has.

    So she absolutely has to come off as a condescending theater snob to the white woman at her sister's baby shower? Like everyone is into exactly that same stuff as a 20 something single woman? Just because you studied theater doesn't make you smarter than anyone. If what she writes is this condescending I wouldn't touch it with a long stick. And then she heaps more on…wait for it…another white woman. As if white women are the only clueless people in the world. Would she have been such a hag if she had been speaking to a black woman? Imagine how that would have completely changed the dynamics of the scene.

    She brow-beats an 11 year old girl because the kid wants to go to 6 Flags? What a horrible adult! A little later she apologizes. You really shouldn't do anything you need to apologize for if you're a teacher.

    Dope? Do people still use that word? It just sounds dorky and beneath any educated person, especially a writer.
  • geekerr20 October 2020
    Typical Netflix bang it out mediocrity very formula, boring dull shallow depiction of a person life
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