Reviews

Gigli

1

"Gigli" is not pronounced "giggly". As Ben Affleck's title character explains, it rhymes with "really". Sadly, "really giggly" is what you're likely to feel watching a hapless Ben and Jen try to turn this deathly dull kidnapping comedy into something as vaguely involving as their tabloid-tailored real-life coupling.

Gigli-bashing has fast become a pastime in the States, and this already-detonated bomb is sure to be treated as a dud by UK audiences. Quite right, too: not only is it a total botch, it's also an unrelentingly boring botch, meaning it doesn't even fit into the "so bad it's hilarious" category alongside Showgirls and Battlefield Earth.

The film's story, to use the term loosely, concerns an LA-based Mobster, Larry Gigli (Affleck), given the task of illegally "babysitting" the mentally challenged brother (Justin Bartha) of a federal prosecutor who's gunning to put a Mob boss behind bars. Asked to supervise this assignment is Lopez's lesbian hit woman Ricki (yes, you did read that right), whose smarts are immediately called into question when she doesn't make Gigli close the blinds on his courtyard-facing apartment. Obviously, moonlight photography is more important to director Martin Brest than authenticity.

Gigli is essentially a dolt - - the ""bull"" to Ricki's ""cow"", as Affleck's terrible dialogue so eloquently puts it. Which, in effect, means we can barely stand to be around him. And that's before his lovey-dovey side emerges just in time for the movie's end.

The inanity doesn't stop there, though. Just take the character of Ricki. First we're asked to believe that she can talk down a phalanx of volatile gangbangers. Then we're expected to suspend disbelief as she delivers an emotionally-charged ode to her vagina while performing yoga. Worst of all, we're asked to accept her sexuality would undergo a U-turn after she sleeps with this charmless palooka. Yes, this is a film that really does drift in its own demented orbit, blissfully unconcerned with coming back down to planet Earth.

Gigli acts as further proof that Affleck is not the most versatile A-list star around, and that Lopez has a rare inability to pick decent projects. Of course, those looking for the faintest silver lining will probably zone in on the flesh shots, taking itchy-palmed comfort from the arse-cracks and nude profiles on show. However, even the tush-minded will draw the line at J-Lo inviting Ben to "gobble gobble", surely the most ludicrous incitement to oral sex in movie history.

As for the cameos from Christopher Walken and Al Pacino - - fuhgeddaboudit. These Oscar-winners trot out their usual bag of tricks (Al's coiled fury, Walken's uncoiled nuttiness) and then bail out. It's small change rattling at the bottom of a battered wallet.

Verdict:

Midnight Run is a long time ago, and director Martin Brest is now plumbing even deeper depths than he mined with Meet Joe Black. A Mob comedy that sleeps with the fishes.

Film Details

  • tbc
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: September 26th 2003

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