Gigli review by Jackass Tom

Terrible beyond belief

Wow. So that happened… I viewed Gigli by way of library rental. I couldn’t bring myself to pay the Blockbuster gouge price for this. Gigli is that rare occasion where critics unload their toolbox of negative remarks, metaphors, and poetic insults. I heeded no warnings and went straight in thinking, 'its free, so why not.' But I quickly found the price you pay for watching Gigli is really far beyond any monetary value. It reminds me of when someone makes the argument about taking their car into a mechanic when they could do the repair themselves. The question that arises is “how much is your time worth?” because Gigli really is that much of a waste of time.

With all fair warning, why did I rent it? Well like any curious cat, I had to see how bad it really was. There are plenty of reasons it could have gotten bad reviews beyond what was really on screen. The Ben Affleck – Jennifer Lopez love nest was so overblown in the media, that by the time they put a movie together, most people wanted it to fail. Neither actor is incredibly gifted or well-respected, so its easy to take a movie like this and rate it based off of public opinion of their public and professional lives. And like many bad, films sometimes a cult following develops. Every so often a movie like this finds more popularity on DVD than it did in theatre; people open their eyes and see a new film that wasn’t there before. As a last resort, it might be fun to have a couple drinks and laugh at how bad the movie turned out to be, ala Plan 9 from Outer Space. So I decided to give it a chance.

And where do I begin? This movie is just completely bad, completely wrong and completely boring. Not even my failsafe option of turning the movie into mockery ala Mystery Science Theatre was available. I had nothing on this movie. So what went wrong? Time to make a list:

1. Script Lets start at the beginning. Guy in a washing machine with Ben Affleck delivering some sorta “gimme the money or I permanent press you” speech. Only it wasn’t that clever. It didn’t grab my attention. The first scene should grab your attention right away, but instead I was waiting for the next scene to happen.

In the first ten minutes or so (which BTW felt like twenty) you notice the f-bomb being dropped at random. Now its one thing to use it over and over in a movie like Goodfellas where it is part of the character. But in Gigli it was impossible to make out what a conversation was really about because of “F--- this, F--- that, F--- this guy, and you want F--- with that?” At some point, you have to remove the F--- filler and put in some REAL LANGUAGE.

The whole script is like filler. There were things that happened and things the characters were doing, but often times I was wondering “What did I miss? Where is this explained?”

Being that it was intended to be a neo-noir, Elmore Leonardish movie, it has to have the one-liners right? A movie of this genre has to have the memorable quotes that you hope someone leaves the movie theatre memorizing so that it can become the tagline on their email for the next month. Well this movie has one liners but they are more or less sad:

- Larry Gigli, who is anything but ‘cool’ resites: “I’m the rule of fuckin’ cool”
- When taunting some high schoolers he closes with: “”
- When referring to Jennifer Lopez’s lesbian character in anger he refers to her as, “Dyke-a-saurus rex”.
- And finally when Jennifer Lopez’s character undergoes an almost unprovoked lesbian-to-straight conversion, she tries to coax Ben into oral pleasures by saying: “Its turkey time… gobble gobble.”

2. Settting Most of the movie takes place in Ben’s white walled apartment. Suck the life out of me now…. These people live in L.A. and they are spending most of the move in an undecorated apartment. This is really a solid representation of the characters though: hollow apartment= hollow people within the apartment. If you make a decision to stay in a place like this (as a director/writer) at least give it some life, some character, some….color! The audience isn’t saved from aural boredom until the last 10 minutes of the movie when the characters are driving down the PCH in a convertible. That’s great, if you make it that far before returning the DVD in anger.

3. Characters This category might as well contain ‘actors’ but even with decent actors you can pull it together if the characters are well developed and catchy. Prime examples are the two actors in this film. Ben Affleck has been bearable in other movies, such as Chasing Amy. He didn’t pull a Hackman by any means, but he was better than Ben is used to being. Jennifer Lopez made big strides in her career with movies such as Out of Sight and she was practically discovered by bringing Selena back to life. So its not impossible to make these two work.

But to ask them to carry a movie with bad actors is asking for trouble. Both look lost. Neither one seems to be playing “another character”. When you see them on screen you recognize them as Ben and Jen, when in actuality you should be immersed in the movie thinking, “what will Larry and Ricki do next?”

In all fairness they aren’t the only ones in this film who seem inept. There is Justin Bartha who is playing what seems to be Dustin Hoffman playing Rainman (what was writer/director Martin Brest thinking?). Christopher Walken plays some dude in the movie. He gives the character a typical Walken weird twist, but heck I thought his character in Joe Dirt was a lot funnier. And of course there is Al Pacino. My how the mighty have fallen. I can see the conversation now:

“Al baby, its Martin Brest remember me?”
“Yeah you directed me in Scent of a Woman. Hoo-ah! I still use that line A LOT!”
“That’s right, when you won that Oscar for Scent of a Woman do you remember you promised me a favor? Well its time to pay up big boy. I'll see you on Stage 9 bright and early Monday morning.”

And that’s pretty much it. I thought about saying with respect to how terrible Gigli is “you have to see it to believe it” but I am not the type of person that goes around telling people to witness a train wreck just for the experience. If you are at the video store save your cash. Watch PBS. If you are at the library, pick up a novel. Do something constructive with your time. Learn a trait. Build a house for the homeless... do whatever!?! But for God sakes whatever you do, DON’T WATCH GIGLI.

1 out of 10 Jackasses

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