Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Theatrical trailer.
THERE is a moment, midway through the romantic gangster
movie, Gigli, when lesbian hit-woman, Jennifer Lopez, lies
back on a bed and seductively tells would-be boyfriend, Ben Affleck,
that its turkey time, before inviting him to
gobble, gobble. It serves as an appropriate metaphor
for the rest of proceedings.
Movies dont come much worse than this spectacularly misjudged
star vehicle, which sets new standards in bad taste,
and which carries the unwanted stench of a rotting carcass long
before the Christmas season is even upon us.
Gigli is one the years true stinkers, a film which is as
romantically inept as its leading protagonists, and which seems
to strive to reach ever more ridiculous scenarios, all of which
lead, in some way, to sex.
Directed by Martin Brest (of Scent of a Woman and Midnight Run
fame), the film finds Affleck as lowly thug, Gigli, who lets love
get in the way of a high-risk mob assignment.
When Gigli is ordered to kidnap the psychologically challenged
younger brother of a powerful federal prosecutor in order to save
his boss from a long stretch in prison, he doesnt count
on the unwanted attentions of Lopezs Ricki, a free-spirited
female gangster, who has been asked to babysit the
Yet their initial hatred for each other quickly gives way to
affection, as the two begin to develop a mutual respect for each
other, despite the fact that Ricki is a lesbian.
The ensuing romantic comedy plays out like Dumbfellas
mixed with Rain Man, with a spot of Baywatch thrown in. In short,
it is a travesty.
For starters, the much-hyped first on-screen pairing of Affleck
and J-Lo is a curiously lacklustre affair, given that the stars
possess little or no chemistry whatsoever.
Lopez is merely embarrassing as she attempts to turn her hip
hit-woman into a cool, sassy customer, particularly when asked
to perform yoga while explaining why a womans sexual organs
are far more attractive than mens; while Affleck merely
looks embarrassed, and is frequently the butt of the jokes.
Their relationship fails to generate any interest, save for seeing
just how humiliating things can become, while their treatment
of Justin Barthas psychologically unstable Brian borders
on the reprehensible, and also fails to generate any of the required
Brests direction labours under the weight of the absurdity
of its premise and remains uninspired throughout, while not even
the presence of cameos from Christopher Walken and Al Pacino can
do anything to enliven the tediousness of the whole affair.
In fact, viewers will be rubbing their eyes in disbelief at seeing
two such heavyweight performers slumming it in something so dire
- although, at least Walken has the good grace to look as though
he has wondered onto the wrong set for his brief appearance, rather
than adopting Pacinos stance of hamming it up even more
outrageously than he did during the finale of The Devils
Needless to say, Pacino is the mob boss at the centre of the
kidnap fiasco, and his appearance only serves to confirm what
viewers will have already realised - that the whole plan was a
mess from start to finish (ie, you dont kidnap the brother
of a federal prosecutor and expect nothing to happen, and you
especially dont clown around while doing so!).
But then again, this is a movie whose brain belongs in its pants,
and which deserves to be roasted for the turkey it truly is.