Gigli is one of the most infamous movies ever made, but not in the way it would like. The rumors started early and only grew in intensity, spurned by the oscillating Ben and J-Lo romance and continuously changing release dates, a sign of troubled waters. Sure enough, when Gigli finally reached theaters in August of 2003, critics had a field day trying to think up new and original ways of describing what filth this movie is.
Perhaps it is because of extremely low expectations brought on by so many F-grade reviews, but I didn't hate Gigli nearly as much as some of the more renowned critics. In fact, I found it tolerable and at times funny. Of course, that is a far cry from saying that this movie is worth watching, or that I would ever even consider watching it again. No, Gigli is a bad movie, but don't let peer pressure get the best of you - there have been far worse movies over the years, including this year...
Gigli features Ben Affleck as Larry Gigli (pronounced "jeely"), a contractor (a.k.a. hit man) who is hired to kidnap the mentally disabled brother of a federal prosecutor. He does so, but is soon involuntarily teamed up with Ricki (Jennifer Lopez), another contractor that is both beautiful and a lesbian. So, as they continue to watch over this fairly loveable guy (who at times seems more like he has Tourette's syndrome), Larry tries to get in between the legs of Ricki; of course, this being some weird romantic comedy, you know he will eventually. None of this really matters, as the movie is plagued by some really hideous dialogue and a performance from Affleck that should have remained behind locked doors.
Really, Affleck is incredibly bad in this movie. A lot of people give him a hard time for a variety of reasons; while I am not a huge fan of his, I do think the main reason that people don't like him is because he is successful (though he tends to pick a lot of pretty bad movies). Regardless, he is absolutely terrible here. Some of this performance is thanks to the screenplay, which gives him some of the most ridiculous dialogue ever written ("I'm the bull, you're the cow") - the other actors get the same prescription but in a lesser dose - but Affleck should still be blamed for most of it.
Of course, the actors in this movie should be blamed for even being involved with a film of this nature in the first place. This isn't the first time Hollywood has tried to tie romance and assassins together; it just doesn't work. Even more puzzling, Oscar-winning actors Al Pacino and Christopher Walken have roles - small, but still more than cameos - in this movie. Why oh why? Or maybe a better question is how, oh how could anyone look at this screenplay and think it was a good idea to make a movie out of it?
Basically, though, the main problem with Gigli is that it is just damn boring. The dialogue isn't great, but there are some funny scenes here and there. The ending is inconclusive, and the sex scene between Affleck and J-Lo is just pathetic (for those fans looking for something exciting). Still, all around, the movie is just boring. Very little ever happens (except for the scene with Pacino), and so Gigli is basically two-hours about nothing. Sadly enough, there is no chemistry between Affleck and Lopez here, and thus the romantic element of this film is flat. And those looking for action, go somewhere else; there is none.
Gigli is more boring than it is painful to watch. In fact, some enjoyable moments come from the bad dialogue and acting, but it helps to be prepared for something that should never have been made in the first place.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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