1 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
gigli What has happened to Martin Brest? He used to be a reliable maker of enjoyable comedies (Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, Scent of a Woman), then he lost the ability to edit (Meet Joe Black), dragging on scenes far too long and mishandling the tone so badly that his films are now virtually unwatchable (this mess). Larry Gigli (Affleck) is annoyed that no one can pronounce his name. You'd have to be a moron to name, say, a movie with an unpronounceable word, wouldn't you? Well it's not giggly or jiggly, it's jee-lee (rhymes with really). Anyway, Gigli's a low-life thug whose job is to watch over a mentally disabled guy (Bartha) for a few days. But his boss (Venito) doesn't trust him, so he hires another thug, Ricki (Lopez), to help. Of course sparks fly. And the fact that Ricki claims to be a lesbian doesn't put Gigli off much. After all, he's already been through all this in Chasing Amy! Oh wait--same actor, different character.

Let's get to the bottom of it: The script doesn't work on any level. The comedy not only isn't funny, it'll offend almost everyone. The romance is doomed--Ricki is a lesbian and Gigli is clearly gay, all macho homophobia with too much denial (so when Ricki confronts him later it seems like old news). The film is also hopelessly miscast: Lopez is OK as the luscious dyke, although many of her scenes are like soft porn! But Affleck is thoroughly unconvincing as a lowlife thug. And what can Bartha do with a character bereft of even a shred of dignity? It constantly pokes fun at the disabled while paying lip service to political correctness. The film veers wildly between lame romantic comedy and brutal crime drama, never even trying to bridge the gap. It's easily 30 minutes too long; almost every scene could have been shortened, and cameos from Pacino, Walken and Kazan are shockingly irrelevant ... and insane! It's seriously terrible, and it'll teach everyone involved to read the script before they agree to make a film. And someone find Brest a good editor, please.

cert 15 adult themes, strong language, innuendo, violence 15.Aug.03

dir-scr Martin Brest
with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha, Lenny Venito, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Lainie Kazan, Missy Crider, Alex Fatovich, Terrence Camilleri, Peter Van Norden, Robert Silver
release US 1.Aug.03; UK 26.Sep.03

Three stooges: J-Lo, Ben and Bartha.

pacino walken kazan
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R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... gigli "The title rhymes with really, and we were one of 20 who actually saw this movie at the big screen. Okay, I missed Swept Away, with Madonna, so had to see what all the fuss is about. The story is about Gigli (Affleck) a punk working for other punks doing odd jobs, threatening guys who have not paid up his boss, walking around looking tough. At first, I was not clear on the actual time of the movie - since he slicked his hair like the 50s and drove an old convertible - until the cell phone came out! His boss is the typical thug - dumb, but trying to improve his vocabulary using a word a day in a sentence. The Feds are going to investigate the big guy, so this insane plot is dreamed up to kidnap the prosecutor's mentally challenged brother in an effort to have him back off the prosecution. I did say dumb, right? Okay, so Gigli's boss hires help, a beautiful lesbian (Lopez). You get the picture. All I can say is somewhere the story got lost - the whole Ben/Jen thing took over and people are trashing the movie because of them. I tried to think of the movie if the stars were a couple of no-names and I doubt it would have even made it to the screen. The acting is not all that bad - I believed them - yet all I can say is yuck. Too long, too wordy, hardly any action. This movie needs help in many ways - maybe with a shorter story line, less words and less big names. I'm sorry I wasted time and money on it." --Laurie T, Minneapolis 9.Aug.03
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall