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Gigli (2003)

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Martin Brest

Many critics calledGiglione of the worst movies ever made, but their condemnation isn't entirely justified. The movie's got plenty of problems, such as inconsistent tone, gag-inducing dialogue, and a meandering plot that fails to generate momentum over … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Director: Martin Brest
1 review about Gigli (2003)

A misguidedly much maligned movie

  • Dec 11, 2003
GIGLI was pegged a Loser even before it was released in the theaters. Many critics called it the worst movie ever made AND audiences stayed away in droves. How much of that was due to 1) a title that people unfamiliar with Italian couldn't pronounce correctly, 2) the media invasion of the private lives of stars Lopez and Affleck, or 3) an outdated but still festering homophobia reaction to the idea of Jennifer Lopez playing a lesbian remains to be seen. Or there may have been difficulty/comfort in accepting brain-damaged characters both created by actors and by patients. Whatever the reasons this film seems to have not been actually viewed for its own merits.

Director and screenplay writer Martin Brest has created a smart film and knows how to handle touchy subjects as sensitively as the best of them. The plot line is fairly simple: Affleck is a Mafia-like LA gangster enlisted to kidnap the brain-damaged young brother of a prosecutor, the mob thinking that this will make the prosecutor drop charges against a major gangster (a tasty little cameo for Al Pacino). Not trusting Affleck's character to carry out his job, the mob enlists the backup of another important gangster (Jennifer Lopez) who just happens to be lesbian and thus not readily vulnerable to the macho plans of Affleck's ego. From the moment Lopez knocks on Affleck's door there is a chemistry that only the blind eye could miss. The three (two gangsters and their kidnapped victim) gradually work through the many thorns along the way of the story including a love scene and a confrontation scene between the leads, a hilarious but warm encounter with Affleck's mother (Lainie Kazan in an absolutely bravura performance) who shows understanding about Lopez' sexual orientation seeing the whole spectrum of sexuality with its still open door for a perfect wife for her son, and a brief but equally pungent role by Christopher Walken who smells the plot. Actor Justin Bartha lends enormous credibility to the role of the brain-damaged lad and it is his character along with Lopez' that eventually lead (and accompany) Affleck's humanization. And Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are beautiful and exciting to see as a new screen pairing.

Yes, there is a love story and a comedy here, but far more important, there is a presentation of an opportunity to examine our own prejudices and misconceptions. And for that reason (among many others) this is a film that deserves a much wider, much more open audience. Give it a chance!

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