Jean of the Jones is a multi-generation comedy centred around the women of a Brooklyn family. At the heart of it is Jean, a young writer fresh from a break-up who, together with her mother, aunts, and grandmother, must contend with a buried chapter of their past when a long estranged family member shows up at the door one day and then promptly dies.
What we have here is some fresh and hilarious family dysfunction. More adult coming-of-age than feminist-themed despite its predominant female cast, it features a natural lead performance from Taylour Paige in the role of Jean. Paige embodies Jean’s every awkward nuance to echo the way the character approaches life, making her odd and wonderful at the same time in her displacement.
Jean of the Jones contains many characters whose lives are so dysfunctionally over the top, but they play off well against Jean, rescuing the film from exaggerated dramedy, instead making the whole experience feel lively and refreshing. The male roles do feature weaker, stock characters, but overall filmmaker Stella Meghie strikes a good balance. She understands the scope of the movie and doesn’t set her sights beyond it, helping to create light-hearted, amicable tale that leaves the audience walking away with a smile.