GigliReviewed By Robert Flaxman
Posted 10/10/04 05:40:44
Amazingly, Gigli manages not to be as bad as all the hype - but at the same time, it's still a truly awful movie. Imagine a bad episode of Seinfeld stretched out to feature length... then stretched some more. Unconscionably, Gigli runs 121 minutes, mostly due to a lot of repeated lines and entire scenes that appear to be improvised (and if they weren't, they might as well have been).Why Seinfeld? Because all Gigli's dialogue can't hide that this is a film about nothing. Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) is assigned to kidnap Brian (Justin Bartha), the mentally challenged brother of a federal prosecutor. His boss doesn't trust him, so he also assigns Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) to the job of guarding the kid. Then everyone sits around for two hours talking about nothing, and not even in that interesting way that some movies have. The dialogue is painfully bad and every scene drags on far longer than it should. Add to that the utter lack of chemistry between Lopez and Affleck as they're supposedly falling for each other - they do so because that's what movie characters do, but there's never the slightest sense that the situation is at all natural - and you've got a really difficult movie to watch.
There are a couple of amusing sequences, such as when Brian asks Larry to read to him before falling asleep and Larry, with no real reading material in the house, reads the description on the back of a bottle of Tabasco sauce. Most of what seems like it's supposed to be funny isn't really, though - and even worse, the film makes a horrendously executed attempt at being serious, mostly by playing violins during scenes that would seem goofy otherwise (and still do, of course, but now we know it isn't intentional).
The backlash against Gigli as "the Bennifer movie" was unfortunate, but to suggest the movie doesn't deserve a whole lot of razzing is giving it far too much credit. When you try to salvage a film with no worthwhile plot or dialogue by plugging in a couple of camera-friendly stars and calling in favors to get cameos from actors with actual chops (Christopher Walken I know will appear in anything, but what in God's name was Al Pacino doing in this, even uncredited?), you're still not going to end up with much.Though by no means the worst film ever made, Gigli's attempts to gloss over its myriad problems are far too evident for it to be anything other than an unmitigated disaster.
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