Even Chaplin's most ardent fans will be hard pressed to find much to enjoy in this rather uninspired short, but while watching it again recently I found three points of interest. First, there is a piece of comic business Charlie executes during a lunch with Edna and her father that is expertly rendered. While chatting away, seemingly unaware of what he's doing, Charlie slices the bread he's holding into a perfect coil, then briefly "plays" it like a concertina, i.e. one of those musical instruments that looks like a big Slinky. It's a brief gag, practically a throwaway, but beautifully performed. It also suits the moment, for Charlie is nervous, and this gives him something to do with his hands. Next, a sequence in a park shortly thereafter features a very rare instance of Edna Purviance taking part in knockabout comedy: she's sitting on a tree branch, and tumbles to the ground twice. For Mabel Normand at Keystone this would have been all in a day's work, but Edna is usually more demure, and was very seldom put in this sort of situation. Lastly, the movie concludes with an extended car chase, which is also a rarity in Chaplin's work. We almost never see Charlie at the wheel of a car. In later years he wrote in his autobiography that he didn't like chases because the player's personality is lost; on those occasions when he did employ chase sequences, they usually occur on foot. For what it's worth, the automobile chase in A Jitney Elopement is well filmed and well edited, with a cute gag or two along the way and a nice wrap-up.
Beyond these minor points, admittedly, there isn't much to see here that Chaplin didn't do better elsewhere, but for viewers interested in studying the work of this uniquely gifted comedian I'd say the "bread gag" and the chase finale make this film worth a look. And for fans of the beautiful, underrated Miss Purviance, this may be your only opportunity to see her fall out of a tree, not once but twice!