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  Gigli This is NOT a Pretty Picture!
Year: 2003
Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Justin Bartha, Lainie Kazan
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 3 votes)
Review: Woof. Woof. Woof, woof, woof. . . I think the aforementioned five words pretty much sum up the concoction known as Gigli, and it's an insult to the dogs of the world whose language has to be used to describe this oozing mass of ego from Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.

The plot of this 'film', and do I ever use that term lightly, concerns, a low level thug, Gigli (Ben Affleck), whose job is to kidnap the autistic brother (Justin Bartha) of a powerful federal prosecutor, so that his mob boss is saved the embarrassment of a long stay in the federal pen on the government's dime. Believe it or not, after the kidnapping, Gigli finds the assignment to be more than he bargained for. It truly makes me wonder what he considers to be easy! To make sure that things go as planned, and because his boss suddenly feels that he's not capable of handling the job alone (duh! where was this man when he initially handed the assignment over?), Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) is sent to orchestrate this symphony of missteps and miscalculations. Oh, throw in for good measure that Ricki is a lesbian and Gigli is all male and you have the ingredients for a 'I can change her sexuality because of the stud I am!' mentality holding court. Will Gigli win the day? Will he become a real human being? Will Ricki surrender to him? Will Brian see his brother again -- in one piece? The questions being asked literally scream for an answer! Who cares!?!?!?!?!

Why this film did not go straight to video does not strike me as mysterious, but rather foolish in light of the fact that the studio felt that the strength of success for it would be carried, like a white knight out to save the damsel in distress, on the shoulders of Jen and Ben. I am so glad that these 'experts' are not brain surgeons in real life!

The crudeness of the jokes, sexual innuendos galore, violence and the abject stereotyping of a mentally challenged individual, are all guaranteed harbingers of a production being saddled with the mistaken impression that anything goes and will win the day with audiences, all because they can see the Jen and Ben Show, upfront and personal. Add to this witches brew the likes of Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. One has to wonder just what they were smoking or drinking when they signed on for this turkey! Perhaps the brain surgeons mentioned above performed their magic and turned them into walking zombies. It's a mystery.

There are so many holes in this effort, that it starts to resemble swiss cheese, and credibility in the script is nonexistent. A sexual cat and mouse game, teamed with the fakest (is that a word?) New 'Joisey' accent on record dribbling from Ms. Lopez's mouth, and Mr. Affleck's macho, 'I am man, hear me roar,' fabrication of male sexuality, and you have the makings of fingernails being scrapped down a blackboard. I'd rather field a mouthful of root canal surgery than to have to witness this festering swamp again.

Gigli is a vanity project, plain and simple. If this idea had been fostered by virtual unknowns, how many of us think it would have seen the light of day? For being such a control freak in real life, doesn't J-Lo think that she should have had some say over the script, or did she think that her name alone would guarantee success? I guess even goddesses in their own small minds, can be proven wrong.

As hard as it is to admit, Gigli actually makes 'They Saved Hitler's Brain' look like high art. Perhaps Jen and Ben can wash the stench from their collaborative effort off their hands, as they ride into the sunset in their Bentley, with flashes of her diamond ring and bracelet to light the way. Mr. Affleck would be wise to save every dime he earns, as one day, the movie offers may cease to appear. I'd hate to see him peddling apples or pencils in a can on a streetcorner. Ms. Lopez is a one trick pony and if her choice in films doesn't rise from the mire, she stands the chance of standing by her man, feeding those same apples and pencils to him.

In closing, see this film if you are a glutton for punishment or a close relation of the Marquis de Sade, or, if you want to witness how the allegedly mighty have fallen. In either case, Gigli will become a case study in how not to make a movie.

Oh, oh! The dogs are howling for blood again!. . .
Reviewer: Mary Sibley

 

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