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Gigli (R)
Official Site
Director: Martin Brest
Producers: Casey Silver, Martin Brest
Written by: Martin Brest
Cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha, Lenny Venito, Lainie Kazan, Al Pacino, Missy Crider

Rating: out of 5

Chasing Amy meets Rain Man meets the mob. Confused? Trust me, you’re not alone, and unfortunately for Gigli, that combination doesn’t translate any better on screen than it does in print.

Larry Gigli (Affleck) is a novice hitman assigned to kidnap Brian (Bartha), the mentally challenged brother of a federal prosecutor. Fearing Gigli’s incompetence, his boss hires Ricki (Lopez), a free-spirited contractor, to supervise Gigli. As the two spend more time together, their professional relationship becomes a lot more personal when Gigli starts to fall in love.

Nothing about this film makes sense. We’re told that Gigli is a screw-up, bad enough of a screw-up to warrant sending in Ricki to keep an eye on him. Yet, we never actually see Gigli screw up. He seems adept enough, given he was able to waltz in and kidnap Brian from the mental institution without so much as an eyebrow raised by the hospital staff or security. Then there’s Brian, whose obsessions with “Baywatch” and bedtime stories, among other idiosyncrasies, are neither funny nor charming, merely irritating. Then, of course, there’s Ricki and Gigli. Their love/hate relationship is considerably more love than hate which would be fine except for one minor detail… she’s a lesbian—a fact which was conveniently left out of all promos and trailers. Wonder why? The plot is dreadful enough as it is without adding this twist.

The dialogue is terrible, with the most atrocious lines reserved for Lopez. Even she seems embarrassed hearing some of the things that are coming out of her mouth. Case in point, in what could be one of the worst pick-up lines in movie history, Ricki invites Gigli into bed with a wink, a smile, and, “It’s turkey time! Gobble, Gobble!” Throw in a highly cringe-worthy scene involving Ricki and yoga, and you begin to wonder why Lopez even took this role in the first place. And just when you think things couldn’t possibly get worse, there’s Al Pacino with a ponytail, yelling at the top of his lungs, and Lainie Kazan in a hot pink thong.

To her credit, Lopez is not entirely horrible, which is more than I can say for Affleck. In fact, she does the best she can with what she’s given. It’s not her fault the script is laughable. In the end, Lopez is the only one who manages to escape this disaster with a little bit of dignity… and I do mean little. And as for the million dollar question: Do Affleck and Lopez have chemistry? Yes, they do, but not enough to salvage this train wreck of a movie.

As a side note, Christopher Walken has a cameo. Why? I don’t know, but it certainly didn’t help.

—Jennifer Mosley


hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

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