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Gigli (2003)

March 10, 2011

1/10 Turkey Times

Yup. It sucks.

Gigli is about a hired muscle for the mob who finds himself kidnapping the mentally challenged brother of a federal prosecutor and keeping him under house arrest until further notice. Being that our thumb cruncher’s boss thinks he’s too much of a dumbass to handle the responsibility on his own, he hires a cool-headed Jennifer Lopez who happens to be in the same line of work to keep tabs on our guy so that he doesn’t screw up. Ben Affleck doesn’t take to kindly to J. Lo stepping on his toes, nor does he take too kindly to her rejecting his advances since she’s a lesbian, but eventually she wears down his tough exterior and he learns that maybe there’s more to life than holding autistic people hostage for the rest of his days. Such is the power of Bennifer.

God, the redeeming factor of all these shitty movies I’ve been watching lately is that there’s at least some degree of entertainment that comes with how unintentionally hilarious they are. If it had been sheer torture, I would have stopped at Battlefield Earth and never looked back, but there were definitely redeeming qualities to be found, enough so to even warrant recommendations. But then I watch fucking Gigli, and for the first time since I started on this bender, I feel like sobering up.

Going into it, I really didn’t think it could actually be as bad as everyone says it is. The only thing I knew about it beforehand was that everyone hated it, that it showcased Ben and Jen back when they were an item, and that J. Lo says “It’s turkey time. Gobble, gobble,” as a cue for Ben to eat her out. I guess that should have been enough of a warning sign, but I still couldn’t quite bring myself to believe that the script and the acting could be that bad. I mean, this was written and directed by Martin Brest, the same guy who did Beverly Hills Cop, Scent of a Woman and Midnight Run. Martin Brest knows what’s up.

And for a little bit, it wasn’t that bad. Sure, Ben sounds like a total idiot with his Italian “accent” and the gag about people mispronouncing his last name as “Jiggly” gets old the second it starts (definitely wasn’t worth the stupid title, even if I do love calling it “Jiggly”), but for a good ten minutes, there wasn’t much I could finger as being truly horrible. But then Justin Bartha shows up as Ben’s mentally challenged bargaining chip, he quickly becomes a major character and gets called a “fucking retard” a whole bunch of times, and I realize that I was dead wrong in giving this thing the benefit of the doubt.

While I’m on the subject, let’s just talk about this Justin Bartha thing. When Robert Downey, Jr. talked to Ben Stiller about the dangers of going “full retard” in Tropic Thunder, this is what he was talking about. There really is a fine line that separates Simple Jack from Raymond Babbitt, and Bartha effing nosedives towards the former. It’s Bartha singing “Baby Got Back”, it’s Bartha dancing to rap in Ben Affleck’s kitchen, it’s Bartha saying “God bless you” to his penis every time he gets an erection. It’s not endearing in the least, it’s just wrong. The worst thing about it is that I have no idea why it was so important to write Bartha’s character as being mentally challenged. It’s not like Gigli had any established bias against people with autism, so it ends up feeling like it’s there for comic relief or something and it could have worked just as well if Bartha acted like Bartha. Man, this is Carlos Mencia shit. Just awful.

And the problem with Bennifer isn’t so much their acting chops, it’s that the chemistry between them is nonexistent and the lines they have to deliver are simply cringe-worthy. I don’t know who Martin Brest’s been hanging around with, but no one talks like this. No one gives what felt like a five minute soliloquy during a yoga session about why the vagina is infinitely superior to the penis because a penis doesn’t have lips, no one talks about oral sex like there’s Thanksgiving leftovers hiding in their panties, and no one breaks a laptop in half over their knee and then drives the message home by yelling “!” There’s a ton of unnecessary yelling here, most of it is from good ol’ Jiggles, and it’s just exhausting listening to these clowns talk because they simply do not shut up.

On top of all this, it just doesn’t go anywhere, nothing really happens. It’s as if someone parked Koko the monkey in front of a typewriter and told her to rewrite Chasing Amy or she’d never eat another banana for the rest of her days. The only character development is Gigli going from a douchebag to a nice guy because he finally gets Jenny from the Block in the sack and grows to love Justin Bartha so much that he can’t even think the word “retard” without welling up, and that’s pretty much the whole movie. All that crap about kidnapping and mob bosses plays fourth fiddle to the Bennifer’s romantic plot line, and that’s about as convincing as Bennifer was in real life.

And why stop there? For some reason, Christopher Walken makes a bizarre cameo as a detective who drops by to harass Gigli for five minutes and is never heard from or mentioned again, and then Al Pacino shows up with a ponytail, shoots a guy, yells like crazy, and then is never heard from or mentioned again. I can understand Walken being in this because the guy literally will not turn down a role, but I was surprised and sad to see Pacino here. For shame.

Folks, it’s no fluke that this gem won six Razzies, and I’m amazed I sat through the whole thing without falling asleep because it would have been easy peasy Japanesey. Word on the street is that this train wreck was caused by some tiff between Brest and the studio backing him, so I guess that explains some of it, but whatever the cause, Gigli lives up to its reputation. The writing, the acting, the story – all of it sucks ass and if Troll 2 didn’t exist, I’d give it a zero. Can’t blame Brest for dropping off the face of the Earth after this one, and continue to avoid this if you know what’s good for ya’.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Blain permalink
    March 10, 2011 12:11 am

    What are you talking about? This film is a masterpiece!!! 😉

  2. Darren permalink
    March 10, 2011 7:58 am

    “It’s turkey time” was, as you said, a warning. The fact that it was a direct statement to the audience and simultaneously a cringeworthy piece of dialogue of itself is quite an accomplishment.

    I think this was the point at which I officially stopped backing Affleck and put my “he’s gonna be big” money on Damon.

  3. Ryan permalink
    March 10, 2011 9:53 am

    I can’ t believe you actually watched this movie.

  4. March 10, 2011 4:47 pm

    I have no intention of watching this – and this has secured it for me!

    On a podcast I listen to – THE HOLLYWOOD SALOON – they have gone into detail about Hollywood Jail, noting how Martin Brest has been sent there. Despite classic films such as MIDNIGHT RUN, BEVERLY HILLS COP and Pacino’s-Oscar-Winner SCENT OF A WOMAN, it is mental that after this film – “it jee-lee” – Martin Brest is cast out!

    • March 11, 2011 9:55 am

      Hahaha. Glad I could help, man.

      And poor Martin Brest. Those three movies really did kick ass, what a shame this got thrown into the mix.

  5. March 11, 2011 6:16 pm

    You either VERY curious to see how bad this is or you have a thing for J-Lo. Come on Aiden, fess up 😉

    • March 12, 2011 12:57 pm

      Hahaha. Definitely in the former camp. Never really got the J. Lo appeal.

  6. March 12, 2011 12:00 pm

    I am convinced that this film was originally three separate movies that somehow managed to get thrown into the same pot. There are far too many ideas going on in the film and none of them are well developed at all.

    • March 12, 2011 12:55 pm

      That’s as good an explanation as I can come up with. Sure does feel like a clusterfuck of that order. God, what a bad movie. Sorry you had to see it, too.

  7. March 12, 2011 3:48 pm

    Holy hell man, I can’t believe you watched this. Troll 2 and Battlefield Earth are one thing, but Gigli?!?!? Haha, you’ve got some major cojones, my friend.

    Great review though, loved the Carlos Mencia and Koko the Monkey lines. 😀

    • March 14, 2011 1:03 pm

      Hahaha. Yeah, I was totally unprepared for what I was getting into. Still, puts things in perspective I suppose.

      And any chance to call out that douchebag Mencia is a chance I’ll take. Fuck that guy.

  8. March 13, 2011 1:09 am

    I can’t believe I’ve actually seen this TWICE.

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