Reviews

Gigli

By Garth Franklin
Gigli

Having become almost legendary in its scathing reviews by critics, its surprising to realise that "Gigli" isn't the worse film ever made. Is it the worst of the year so far? Yeah pretty much, but with all the talent involved on the project and despite its shortcomings this isn't as bad as say the vomit-inducing Madonna vehicle "Swept Away". Rather its more in the yawn-inducing range like last year's real stinkers "Fear.Com", "Master of Disguise" and "Ecks vs. Sever" (although they at least had the odd visual).

In other words this is to be avoided like the plague - if anyone asked me whether those aforementioned films are worth hiring I'd bitchslap them till they got some sense stuck into them. Same goes with this, "Gigli" is wank cinema at its finest example - a project purely designed to push its two stars and basically waste time onscreen. That's this movie's biggest crime - its boring. Some of the worst cinema ever made can be thoroughly entertaining (such as J-Lo's "Anaconda") whilst some beautifully crafted filmmaking can be as dull as dishwater. This commits the mortal sin of being both badly made and incessantly dull.

So what in the world could've inspired these people to do this? With Affleck and Lopez its no surprise - after all this is basically a two-hour flirtathon between the two, albeit written at a level for pre-schoolers. From 'cow/bull' metaphors to Lopez's wince-inducingly (and unconvincing) argument about the beauty of her pussy, the dialogue is just atrocious and yet that's all there pretty much is to this movie. There's nothing to break things up short of quick trips to a laundromat or parents house - otherwise its hanging around some dull apartment trying to calm a retarded kid down as each teases the other. I

f there was some chemistry here that'd be fine but surprisingly despite their real life status, neither lights up the screen (the long-awaited on-screen clinch is so bad and short it makes the Moss/Reeves Reloaded love scene looked hotter). Both have proven they've got the acting chops at least once before, why couldn't they have chosen a better vehicle than this - just as bad is their characters, especially Affleck, which are utterly unconvincing (New York hood my ass) and even Bartha's routine seems to change by the second.

Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Lainie Kazan (in a thong no less) and Missy Crider, all turn up for short 5-minute cameos to basically just show off in over the top ways with Kazan and Pacino coming off the best as they're simply so 'out there'. They all however point to the fact that this movie has no direction. Martin Brest's last film was "Meet Joe Black", a sweet-natured but ultimately flat romance fantasy famous for being three hours long (about twice as much as it should've been).

At just over two hours "Gigli" is also longer than it should be, and yet is far worse as at least 'Joe' kind of knew where it was going. Here its unsure whether it wants to be a mob drama, a black comedy, a romantic comedy and even a coming-of-ager. DOP Rober Elswit tries a few nice transition effects such as Ben's constant dreaming of standing on a beach (that might work if he was in Atlanta, but he's in LA for christ sake - take Santa Monica Blvd westwards and you can't miss it ya dumb f**k) and yet can't hide the fact that they've made a $54 million film that was shot in and around three apartments and a small strip of shops.

The music score uses some very familiar classical tunes, whilst the film's ending feels tagged on (no surprise). Originally after first seeing it I was all set to do an elaborately worded scathing attack review like everyone else but decided against it - simply because this film is just not worth the effort. Spending time tearing this apart would yield very little as quite frankly there's far more satisfyingly bad movies out there, "Gigli" is just waste that deserves to be forgotten rather than attacked.

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