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IFFBoston ’17 Review: Incredible Jessica James

Smart, modern, and full of laughs, INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES is a new comedy starring Jessica Williams (Daily Show) in the title role. Director Jim Strouse’s follow up to THE HOLLARS tells the story of an aspiring playwright as she rebounds from a break-up.

The film opens as Jessica James (Williams) is on a tinder date at a bar frequented by her ex-boyfriend. Pulling no punches with honesty, her date has no idea how to react, and the sequence ends awkwardly as her ex-boyfriend shows up to the bar.

On the insistence of her friend Tasha (Noël Wells), Jessica agrees to go on a date with Boone (Chris O’Dowd), a recent divorcee. Hilariously lacking compatibility on their first date, the pair decide to continue hanging out since there definitely is some chemistry in the air.

Jessica is a strong personality – witty, upfront, and driven. However, despite her strong will, she questions her drive as her work faces constant rejection, hanging up her form letters like trophy’s on her apartment. Seemingly stuck running in place, Jessica continues to work for a non-profit children’s theater motivating kids to write and act.

At only 82 minutes, the film moves through the story rapidly – and by the end, the audience will have fallen completely in love with Jessica. Director Jim Strouse turns in a much tighter narrative with INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES than THE HOLLARS – and its easy to see why Netflix picked it up at Sundance.

INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES is an excellent vehicle for Williams, her embodiment of the character, energy, and presence show the beginning’s of a bright star. Catch INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES on Netflix later this year.

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