Archive for December 24, 2010

Gigli

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Larry Gigli (Affleck) is a low-ranking mobster who is commanded to kidnap the mentally challenged, Baywatch-obsessed younger brother (Bartha) of a powerful federal prosecutor to save his mobster boss from prison. Gigli successfully convinces the young bear, Brian, to go off with him by promising to take him “to the Baywatch.” However, Gigli’s boss, Louis (Venito), does not trust him; he hires a woman calling herself Ricki (Lopez) to take over the job.

Although Gigli is attracted to Ricki, he resents the fact that Louis does not have faith in him and that he has to take orders from Ricki. He is also frustrated by Brian’s insistence on going to “the Baywatch” and by Ricki’s lesbianism. The events take a darker turn when Larry and Ricki receive orders to cut off Brian’s thumb, something neither of them wants to do.

Ricki’s girlfriend (Crider) shows up at Gigli’s apartment, accusing her of cheating. She slits both wrists and has to be rushed to the hospital. While at the hospital, Gigli goes to the morgue and cuts off a corpse’s thumb, which he sends to his boss as Brian’s thumb. Gigli and Ricki go back to his apartment and Gigli confesses his love, leading to a sexual encounter between them.

Afterwards, they are called to meet with the mob’s boss. Starkman (Pacino) reveals that he didn’t approve of the plan to kidnap a federal prosecutor’s brother and scolds them because the thumb they sent won’t match Brian’s fingerprint. He fatally shoots Gigli’s superior Louis. Starkman is about to kill Ricki and Gigli as well, but Ricki talks him out of it. They decide to take Brian back to where they found him. On the way, they discover Baywatch shooting an episode on the beach and leave a happy Brian there.

REVIEW:

 It had to happen eventually. There is a movie that the critics and I actually agree on…sort of. I’m sure you’ve heard of Gigli. The movie that was made while Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were dating, and has often been attributed to the reason they broke up. I’ll leave that to the conspiracy theorists, but this is a bad picture. However, I didn’t find it totally horrible.

The story actually isn’t bad. It actually put me in the mind of something in between The Whole Nine Yards, Get Shorty, and that neo-gangster genre that tried to get going in the early 2000s. I just think that the filmmakers didn’t tap the full potential with it.

That being said, many times an actor can make a bad film, good…or make a good film bad. You have to be the judge about this one, but I happen to think this cast did the best with what they had, which wasn’t much.

Gigli has moments of touching drama, romance, and hilarity, but none are memorable enough to bring up at the water cooler the next morning. Hell, chances are, you’ll forget this thing 5 minutes after it ends.

I mentioned the cast before and how they weren’t to blame here. Poor Ben Affleck. I saw a rerun of Saturday Night Live the other day where he was in a skit that was making fun of how this is his second film to be involved with a lesbian. The other being Chasing Amy. You have to feel sorry for the guy to keep getting cast like that, but at the same time, he brings something to this character that is just remarkable.

Jennifer Lopez has never looked better. Some people say that her voice is annoying. I guess they haven’t listened to Rosie Perez prattle on. While Lopez was muy caliente, she did seem a bit wooden in her performance, even when she was supposed to be showing emotion.

The sad part of Lopez and Affleck is that they don’t really show chemistry on screen. I wonder if their personal life was like that. If so, then it is no wonder they didn’t work out. Of course, in Lopez’s short appearance in Jersey Girl, she and Affleck seem to be as in-tune as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, so maybe it was this script that just didn’t work.

I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is film that got Justin Bartha, who you may know from the National Treasure franchise, noticed. He does pull of a masterful performance. I almost believed he was mentally challenged at times. I have to put this up there with Dustin Hoffman and Juliette Lewis’ performances as mentally challenged persons in Rain Man and The Other Sister, respectively.

I was scratching my head at the cameos by Lainie Kazan, Al Pacino, and Christopher Walken. Pacino, was actually a character important to the plot, but one has to wonder how they got him to do this schlock. Walken played a cop, and honestly, anyone could have played that role. Lainie Kazan was Affleck’s mother. I’m not really scratching my head about that casting, but rather why she wasn’t given more screentime, especially since her character seemed to actually be interesting.

Yes, Gigli is a bad film. The first half of the film is almost unwatchable, save for the hotness of Lopez. However, it does get a little better as the film progresses. I won’t insult your intelligence by saying you should see this, but at the same time, I do think this film gets a bad rap. It isn’t totally horrible, but it is bad. I wouldn’t avoid it, but if you never see it, that isn’t a big loss.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars