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‘The Incredible Jessica James’ celebrates life’s imperfections

%22The+Incredible+Jessica+James%22+is+one+of+the+many+new+Netflix+original+movies.++The+film+follows+the+connections+and+struggles+of+a+New+York+playwright.

"The Incredible Jessica James" is one of the many new Netflix original movies. The film follows the connections and struggles of a New York playwright.

•courtesy of Netflix

•courtesy of Netflix

"The Incredible Jessica James" is one of the many new Netflix original movies. The film follows the connections and struggles of a New York playwright.

Jamie Anderluh

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“The Incredible Jessica James” is an iconic example of the glory of Netflix originals. Teeming with optimism and pride, Jessica James has a brand of individuality that is hard to beat.

The film, directed by James C. Strouse, was released on Netflix over the summer. It’s a colorful, honest portrayal of the playwright Jessica, attempting to sort through her romantic, professional, and emotional endeavors.

I’ve waivered through various movies this year that dramatize the plight of authors, actors, artists, etcetera–but Jessica James is different.  Her love for her art is genuine, eccentric, and messy.  And her fight for it, in what could have been unrealistic and distancing, manages to be incredibly human.

James ceremonially hangs her letters of rejection on the wall of her room, but her playwright identity is not at all stereotypical.  Because she’s more than a struggling artist–she ignites a celebratory dance party in the halls of her apartment, then, she’s promptly attracted to a jar of peanut butter. She’s unexpected because she’s developed as an actual human.

In the midst of rejection, James works with a group of children, entertaining their collective imagination and encouraging them to write their own plays. Her dedication to this group adds yet another layer to her humanity.

Of course, Jessica is also confronting the effects of a break-up at this time, sharing her woes with her best friend, Tasha, and the at first confusing–but later endearing–blind date, Boone. Their interactions are heart-warmingly strange, prompted by Jessica’s ability to be blatantly honest.

More than anything, Jessica James is a realistically confident and beautifully imperfect character. Strouse has created a film that legitimizes the work of an aspiring artist while honoring attempts to connect with our fellow humans.

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‘The Incredible Jessica James’ celebrates life’s imperfections