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Gigli - Preview & US reaction



Preview by: Jack Foley

MORE commonly known as the film on which Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck got it together, Gigli is being touted as one of the rom-coms of the Autumn/Fall season - albeit with a grittier edge than most.

The reason? Gigli is the story of Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck), a novice hitman in Los Angeles, seeking the big score.

After accepting an assignment to guard the mentally challenged brother (Justin Bartha) of a powerful district attorney, he meets a free-spirited gunslinger (Jennifer Lopez) sent to help and supervise him.

As time passes, the two begin to fall in love.

This being a Jennifer Lopez vehicle, it is little surprise to find the shoot has been littered with news stories - aside from the big one, about the big romance, of course!

Lopez has reportedly been paid a whopping $12 million advance against a high single-digit percentage of the backend of the movie, which is not bad for a role she inherited from Halle Berry (who was forced to leave after scheduling difficulties caused by X-Men 2).

Yet the money and the love may be the best thing about it, because in all other aspects, Gigli could well prove to be yet another Lopez stinker.

An early review on movie website, Aint It Cool News apparently warns viewers to steer well clear, while test audiences have found fault with at least two of the movie's endings.

According to reports on website, Movies.com, an article in the New York Post has revealed that producer, Joe Roth, and director, Martin Brest, almost came to blows after a test screening audience failed to respond to the movie's new ending.

The ensuing row was only broken up by Affleck, who overheard it, while a statement from Revolution Studios dismissed it as merely 'creative differences' and assured the NY Post that the final cut is the one that everyone is happy with.

Adding a little bit of respectability to the movie, however, is the presence of Al Pacino - although, in cameo form, it is unlikely that he will be able to save it.

And as for the trailer, it does very little to suggest that we have a classic on our hands. Lopez and Affleck seem to have chemistry, but the movie itself looks distinctly average - a view which seems to echo that coming from American critics at the moment.

According to some reports, the film contains what has been described as, 'quite possibly, the worst line ever said in a movie', taken from a scene in which J-Lo attempts to seduce Affleck by lying on a bed and telling him: "It's turkey time?"

When he asks, 'what?', she replies: "Come on, gobble, gobble'.

The movie is due to be released on August 1 in America (when IndieLondon will, no doubt, bring you the critical reaction) and will follow in UK cinemas on September 26 (provisionally).

 

US reaction

As predicted by many US pundits prior to its release, Gigli has been relentlessly savaged by the critics, and looks like a surefire contender for one of the worst movies of the year.

This notice, from the Toronto Star, seems to sum it up best: 'It [Gigli] is an exquisitely bad movie: One to be savoured, marvelled over, shared with friends and generally appreciated in a state of awestruck wonder. Gourmet fromage."

The rest are similarly bad...

The New York Times referred to it as a 'hopelessly misconceived exercise in celebrity self-worship', while the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that it is 'the most thoroughly joyless and inept film of the year, and one of the worst of the decade'.

Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, wrote that 'nothing in the movie is funny - aside from giggles provoked by misfired jokes - or romantic or dramatic', while E! Online stated that 'the movie sucks for its sloppy direction, use of a disabled character for laughs, and Affleck's bad accent (and hair)'.

Slightly more vitriolic is Moviejuice!, which wrote that 'Ben has amazing powers - he has twice accomplished the impossible: He turned two lesbians straight! First in Chasing Amy and now in Gigli. This man is a Sapphic SARS virus! At this rate, by 2089 it will be the end of overalls as we know them'.

The Detroit Free Press, meanwhile, stated that Gigli is 'a film that begins badly and gets worse and worse, like someone who has been knocked unconscious in an accident and then bleeds to death because he gets no attention'.

And Entertainment Weekly stated that 'we could almost be watching staged rehearsals for an '80s cliché-fest'. Still, it awarded it a C+ and referred to it as 'a watchable bad movie'.

Yet the hits keep on coming, with the New York Post awarding it a solitary one out of four, and noting that 'scene after scene makes you want to take a shower'.

While Premiere magazine stated that 'Gigli rhymes with "really." As in "really bad," or "really offensive," or "really wish I’d remembered my gun so I could just shoot myself now and end the misery.""

In fact, such is the bad feeling towards this movie, that not even the bad notices posted for Bad Boys 2 or Tomb Raider 2 seemed to get close.

Continuing the negativity, is the Los Angeles Times, which wrote that it is 'nearly as unwatchable as it is unpronounceable'.

The Chicago Tribune, meanwhile, concluded that 'put together enough pointless, random details, and you get Gigli, a movie that's less incompetent than bewildering'.

The New York Daily News stated that 'there are so many bad moments in Gigli, it's a shame to single out only a few', while the Boston Globe wrote that it is 'an overlong, joyless, and inconsequential affair, full of dead air, and possessing only a few moments of jaw-dropping bad taste'.

And LA Weekly opined that 'Lopez and Affleck try not to smile at each other while gassing on and on until you're praying, dear God, please make them shut up and do it so we can all go home in peace'.

We conclude this round-up, however, on a semi-positive note from Salon, which wrote that it is 'merely bad — not a train wreck, not the crime against humanity it's been rumored to be'.

 

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