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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/09/2003

One out of Five stars
Running time: 124 mins

The rumours are true, this is one of the worst films of the year -with appallingly misjudged ‘comedy’ moments, a script that’s actually embarrassing and zero chemistry between its two stars, this isn’t even a ‘good’ bad movie.

Director Martin Brest used to be capable of turning out comedy gems such as Midnight Run or Oscar-winning dramas such as Scent of a Woman. In recent years, however, he appears to have lost the plot a bit (along with the services of a decent editor – his slow-moving Meet Joe Black clocked in at just under three hours).

Unfortunately, Gigli proves that any directorial ability or sense of comedy he may have once had has now deserted him completely, as it’s unquestionably one of the worst films of the year.

Idiotic Mob Goon And Foxy Lesbian

It’s not all Brest’s fault, of course. It’s possible that the Stateside critics wouldn’t have been quite so harsh if the film hadn’t starred real-life celebrity couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, although, given that the script, concept and even the title are all spectacularly misguided, perhaps they would.

Affleck stars as mob goon Larry Gigli, which, he tells anyone who will listen, isn’t pronounced “giggly” or “jiggly” but rhymes with “really”. Really? Then why name the movie after him, given that most people would plump for either the first or second option?

Anyway, Larry is assigned the task of kidnapping and baby-sitting a retarded man (Justin Bartha, who has autism with mild ‘comedy’ tourette’s thrown in) in order to influence a court case or something. Only Larry’s boss thinks he’s a screw-up so he sends Foxy Lesbian Rikki (Jennifer Lopez) along to baby-sit Larry and they gradually fall for each other. Sort of. Frankly, it’s hard to care.

Painful, Awful, Stupid…Those Are The Good Bits

There is so much wrong with Gigli that it’s hard to know where to start, though it’s fair to say that Ben Affleck should shoulder most of the blame. His character is crude, obnoxious, arrogant and a little stupid – at no point do we feel that he deserves to succeed. More to the point, you want to punch him for most of the movie, just to shut him up.

In contrast, Jennifer Lopez has little to do except look hot, pose for amusing butt shots and occasionally give Affleck the sort of pitying look you’d give a small child doing something dumb. Bartha gives an admittedly good Rain Man imitation – it’s just a shame that his character is used for cheap, borderline offensive ‘gags’.

The script is truly appalling, although, given that the movie is already heading for the ignominious position of The Flop Of The Year, it’s somewhat apt that it should contain the line “It’s turkey time”. This occurs when Ricki, having succumbed to Larry’s oafish charms, invites him to give her oral sex. When he, understandably, looks confused, she continues “You know…gobble, gobble”.

You’d think that that would as embarrassing as the movie got, but you’d be wrong – the characters also deliver odes to both the penis and the vagina that are nothing short of excruciating.

Once again, Brest is in dire need of an editor – Gigli clocks in at a patience-testing two hours and four minutes and several scenes go on far too long or have meaningless lengthy pauses. Basically, the best thing in the movie (Al Pacino’s Shouty Five Minutes as a mob boss) is probably down to Shouty Al owing Brest a favour after Scent of a Woman, though no doubt Pacino now considers that debt paid in full…

In short, this is an unmitigated disaster that is every bit as bad as you might have heard - it’s not even a ‘good’ bad movie. Turkey time, indeed…

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Content updated: 26/01/2020 12:46

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