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"Gigli"

Directed by Martin Brest.
Written by Martin Brest. 
Starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
Release Year:  2003 
Review Date:  8/12/03 

Folks--

Every day since “Gigli” was released, I knew I had to see it.  I had to know for myself--is this going to top “Gerry” as my worst viewing experience of the year?  Is it??

“Gigli”, and the bad hype surrounding it, reminds me a lot of “Battlefield Earth” from back in 2000.  That John Travolta nightmare WAS bad, but it wasn’t the universal dogshit that all the critics made it out to be.  It was like everyone just kind of jumped on the bandwagon and gave the thing a bad review, but there were a couple of decent action scenes and the special effects weren’t all bad, so I gave it a Rental.

By that token, “Gigli” is not even close to being the “worst film ever made”, as I read with one review; shit, it isn’t even the worst film of the year, as “Gerry” is 55 times worse than “Gigli” could ever be.  “What’s the Worst That Can Happen?”, that POS starring Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito from last year, is a ton worse than “Gigli.”  But, “Gigli” doesn’t start off too well, and it has one of the worst plots of the year, to be sure--tough guy Mafioso Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) is tasked with picking up a retarded kid named Brian (Justin Bartha) because Brian is the brother of a federal court judge that needs to be extorted by the mob.  So, for the whole movie, Larry needs to keep Brian “out of sight”...oh, speaking of which, he is assigned a second hitman named...Ricki (Jennifer Lopez), who is also tasked with taking care of the kid.  So, for damned near the whole movie, we have to suffer through watching Larry, Ricki and Brian hang out; this is mostly disastrous.

Affleck, not exactly on the path to Oscar acting gold anytime soon, is even worse than normal in this film.  But, I will give him credit for fighting through this horrific script by former Oscar nominee Martin Brest (director of “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Midnight Run”, for Chrissakes!) and doing his part to try and make this film passable.  Christopher Walken shows up in a cameo here and I’m sure it’s the worst work of his career; even Walken seems to know it as he waltzes in and out of his scene.  Better is a spot appearance by Al Pacino, who clearly owed Brest a favor after they teamed up for “Scent of a Woman.”  But overall, the acting in “Gigli” is bad, really bad.  So are the music, the pacing, and the shitty-on-fried-shit ending.

But, there are some nuggets of goodness to be had here.

1) Unintentional retard stuff comedy

I’m already going to hell, so it’s not like I’m going to surprise you here--whether Brest intended for it or not, there are three solid laughs attributed to watching Brian interact with the limited environment created in the film.  The two guys sitting next to me burst out into laughter every time the kid broke into his trademark toothy grin, and I was laughing right along with them.  Not in an evil way, mind you, just good clean fun.  Note:  This retard stuff is not nearly as good as the All-Time Greatest Retard Joke Ever--you know the movie:

“What’s your passion?”
“Working with retards.”

2)  A couple of solid lines of dialogue

Most of the script for “Gigli” blows, but there is a great line where Ricki tries to get Larry to understand the difference between answering with a “Sure” or a “Yes.”  I can’t repeat the line here, but trust me, quality.  And, it’s always great when you have characters trying to recite old rap lyrics from the late 80s; damn, I could watch that kind of stuff all day.

3)  J.Lo

She is getting worse with each film as an actress, but the girl sure is easy on the eyes.  J.Lo, like Halle Berry or Salma Hayek right now, can single-handedly save a film for me with just their looks.

“Gigli” is not good, to be sure; it’s just not Hard Vice material.  Do I have to go and see “Spy Kids 3-D” now?

Rating:  Rental

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09