The Incredible Jessica James
Jessica Williams is the 27-year-old actor and comedian who has guested on HBO’s Girls, been the youngest correspondent on The Daily Show and now co-hosts a hugely admired comedy podcast: 2 Dope Queens with Phoebe Robinson. Now comes this Netflix feature showcase for her as both star and executive producer – written and directed by Jim Strouse, who with Jemaine Clement co-created the 2015 comedy People Places Things, in which Williams had a role.
Jessica’s a playwright who’s never had any of her work produced in New York, a bleak track record that doesn’t stop her from finding comfort in a personalized rejection letter, instead of the standard form letter, or from encouraging young kids to love theater via her work with a nonprofit. Nor does she let her failed relationship with Stanfield’s Damon, or a subsequent string of cringe-y Tinder dates/booty calls, deter her from saying yes to a seemingly ill-advised setup with O’Dowd’s Boone.
Boone is an app developer who seemingly couldn’t have less in common with Jessica. And when their terrible first date improbably leads to something more, there’s the sense that it’s less the result of an inextinguishable spark between the pair, and more just another example of Jessica’s commitment to keep barreling ahead in life, to hell with whatever obstacles she may encounter along the way.
And so the movie trundles on, with Jessica making a breakthrough with her teaching and her relationship with Boone progressing. She even gets a career opportunity that is not very different from Mariel Hemingway’s at the end of Woody Allen’s Manhattan.
The movie’s energy goes up and down, and there are times when it feels like scenes could have used an extra take or two. But Williams is a gifted enough actress to poke holes in Jessica’s swagger so her insecurities peek through. She refers to herself as a “unicorn,” insists to a roomful of women at a baby shower that they have to subvert the patriarchal paradigm, and tells Boone that she’s “frigging dope.” But she’s also creatively frustrated, teaching theater writing to a group of admittedly adorable kids in Hell’s Kitchen and squealing over a rejection simply because the correspondent bothered to read one of her plays. “This is theater, Shandra,” she tells one of her students in a faux-plummy baritone. “We don’t have to do any of this. We do it simply because we must.”
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Is The Incredible Jessica James available online? Yes. Reports of pirated torrents and streams are available below.
When will The Incredible Jessica James be available on digital platforms like iTunes or Amazon? As of now, there's no release data announced. This includes iTunes, Amazon, Blu-Ray and DVD.