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GIGLI

A macho hit man, under orders from his boss, kidnaps the mentally handicapped brother of a prominent crimebuster and holds the kid for ransom in his littered bachelor pad. Then, suddenly, a lesbian hit woman arrives on the messy scene to make sure the job isn't bungled.

CAST: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, David Pressman, Missy Crider, Nicole Hiltz, Jenna Fischer, Shelby Fenner, Alex Fatovich, Terry Camilleri, Brian Sites, Mark Aaron Wagner

DIRECTOR: Martin Brest

"If only they would restrict their boring public affair to the lenses of the paparazzi and not the cameras of the motion-picture screen...But here they are, in torturous closeups, on a mall screen near you, reminding the world how superficial, badly advised, greedy for fame and fanfare, desperate for money and attention, and pathetically incompetent they both are in the only two things that matter in career longevity—craft and talent…the dialogue in this fiasco is so filthy and inane you can’t even write it down…They are undeniably buff and wear as little as possible to prove it, but they remain pitifully clueless when required to pronounce a word containing more than two syllables or play a scene for even the most minimal dramatic impact." --Rex Reed, The New York Observer

"The film stars real-life paramours Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, who, stung by bad publicity about the feature, have vowed never to work with each other again. First, though, the pair should reconsider working with anyone who thought well of a movie hinged on jokes about the disabled, switch-hitting lesbians, and the sight of a dead man's brain splattered across an aquarium…A protracted scene in which the camera and Gigli both leer at Ricki's wobbly yoga moves as she sings the praises of the female anatomy has irrefutable camp value, as does an inevitable seduction capped by the memorable line ‘it's turkey time — gobble, gobble.’ Yes, it certainly is." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"…hopelessly misconceived exercise in celebrity self-worship, which opens to nationwide ridicule today… it has a special badness all its own…Mr. Affleck and Ms. Lopez's combined fees reportedly ran close to $25 million, and they earn their money by hogging as much screen time as possible and uttering some of the lamest dialogue ever committed to film… Mr. Affleck and Ms. Lopez are most likely aiming for suave, risqué wit, rather than the horselaughs their repartee provokes… Ms. Lopez's brisk self-confidence has begun to seem like a limitation, and the way she modulates between steeliness and softness feels mechanical, a matter of arranging her face rather than of expressing any plausible motive or emotion. Mr. Affleck is a handsome face and a bad accent in search of a character." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Ben and Jen? After seeing ‘Gigli,’ I think Ben and Jerry could make a better movie…it's enervated, torpid, slack, dreary and, oh yes, nasty, brutish and long… Ach. Oy. Woe and poo, bleccch and uck! ZZZZZ-zzz…most of the movie is Ben and Jen spatting, attitudinizing and improvising in a poorly decorated L.A. apartment to the pretend delight of the poor boy, impersonated by Justin Bartha, who has spent entirely too much time watching Dustin Hoffman in ‘Rain Man"… Regardless of the off-screen reality, Ben and Jen have very little electricity on-screen. He's locked into a shameless, pasty John Travolta imitation…I don't know what she's doing. Whatever it is, it's not terribly amusing. But that's okay, because she's very poorly dressed and barely awake. This is her snooziest performance ever." --Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

"‘Gigli’ is a disaster. Although Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez fell in love while making this crude black comedy, they play unappetizing characters who deserve each other only because no one else would have them…Romantic comedies must offer the main couple an obstacle to overcome, and ‘Gigli’ has one that would appear to be a deal-breaker: Ricki prefers women. She not only prefers them, she rhapsodizes over their body parts in unflinching detail…Thanks to a new ending that was tacked on to increase its shelf life, 'Gigli' offers an amazing cure for homosexuality. The cure is … Ben Affleck!" --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"Maybe the movie is worth seeing for some scenes that are really very good. Consider the matching monologues. They've gotten into an argument over the necessity of the penis, which she, as a lesbian, feels is an inferior device for delivering sexual pleasure. He delivers an extended lecture on the use, necessity and perfect design of the appendage. It is a rather amazing speech, the sort of thing some moviegoers are probably going to want to memorize. Then she responds. She is backlit, dressed in skintight workout clothes, doing yoga, and she continues to stretch and extend and bend and pose as she responds with her speech in praise of the vagina. When she is finished, Reader, the vagina has won, hands down. It is so rare to find dialogue of such originality and wit, so well written, that even though we know the exchange basically involves actors showing off, they do it so well, we let them….Lopez and Affleck are sweet and appealing in their performances; the buzz said they didn't have chemistry, but the buzz was wrong." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"It’s essentially about how Ben Affleck, by wearing a bad coiffure and putting on a fake Brooklyn accent, turns a psychologically challenged kid into a ‘normal’ one, but he can also turn a beautiful lesbian into a straight girl. Simply put, ‘Gigli’ is the worst movie in years; it's insulting and displays an almost complete ignorance of moviemaking…Two of the most tasteless speeches -- about the power of the penis and the vagina -- lead up to the awful sex scene between Affleck and Lopez, complete with slow motion, dissolves, cheesy music and Lopez wearing her bathrobe throughout." --Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

"So bad it verges on the legendary…‘Gigli’ makes ‘Hudson Hawk’ look like a hiccup, ‘Ishtar’ like a minor misstep…The movie is airless and inane. You feel suffocated by scenes that have no weight…whatever chemistry Lopez and Affleck have in real life curdles on-screen. Watching him try to distract her sexually while she's reading a book is embarrassing… One recurring metaphor Gigli employs for the battle of the sexes, gay or straight, is that it all comes down to bulls (him) and cows (her). Maybe that explains why ‘Gigli’ is such a pile of manure." --Eleanor Ringel Gillespies, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Though Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez fell in love on the set of the film, it’s difficult not to look at this shrill mess as a vanity project tailor-made for the couple and targeted at anyone who gets their daily celebrity dish from the E! network…Despite your better judgement, you may want to stay past the film’s mid-point or you’ll miss Bartha launching into an impromptu performance of ‘Baby Got Back’ when Affleck begins to hack off a dead man’s thumb using a plastic knife." --Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

Jennifer Lopez casts a queer eye on her straight guy--Ben Affleck--in Martin Brest's excruciating ‘Gigli’…From the moment Affleck declares that in every relationship ‘there's a bull and a cow,’ they make hideous chin music together. The centerpiece amounts to a one-act play that could be called The Penis and Vagina Dialogue: He salutes the phallus with a few manly adjectives and hand gestures; she celebrates the female sex organ while contorting her loins and torso on an exercise mat…Lopez is meant to be a smartie -- after all, she devours Eastern philosophy. This allows the star to act like ‘Jennifer from the block’ one moment and to flesh out her risible notion of a self-taught sophisticate the next. It's a monumentally irritating performance, as coy as it is cocksure." --Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun

"In the course of their joint operation -- kidnapping a mentally disabled kid (Justin Bartha) to extort his powerful brother -- the two spar in sexual arguments that cross the line of inexplicability, and they learn to love the big kid like a pet…Affleck preens like a thick-headed pretty-boy yo-yoing between personality extremes while Lopez fares better as the New Age criminal contractor…Together they generate all the heat of a snowball…There is no histrionic excess or crackpot camp, only hoary sentiment, the puppy-dog cuteness of the mentally handicapped, and the proposition that the ‘cure’ for lesbianism is one good man brave enough to get in touch with his inner cow. Moo." --Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"In ‘Gigli,’ writer-director Brest (responsible for ‘Meet Joe Black’), reveals a penchant for ugliness and vulgarity that was only hinted at in the ‘poontang’ speech in his ‘Scent of a Woman.’ His is a sensibility so unpleasant, especially when it deals with anything to do with sex, that scene after scene makes you want to take a shower. His dialogue — and ‘Gigli’ features some of the most embarrassing writing of any movie made in the last decade — is clearly supposed to express an earthy sexual sophistication. But — witness the now notorious ‘gobble gobble’ invitation to oral sex — it's just crude and clueless and reeks of loathing for both male and female sexuality." --Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post

"The collective wait to exhale is over. We can now confirm, beyond a doubt, that there is indeed on-screen chemistry between Jennifer Lopez and her off-camera fiance, Ben Affleck… But writer-director Martin Brest freights his actors with leaden pacing and a theatrical gangster-speak somewhere to the left of Damon Runyon and the right of Elmore Leonard…Just as exasperating is the inevitable selling out of J.Lo's character, whose serenely adjusted lesbian identity exists merely to be leveled by the right man…Pundits in the men's room line after the movie wanted to tar ‘Gigli’ as the ‘the first "Showgirls" of the 21st century,’ but it's only intermittently as awful as that." --Jan Stuart, Newsday

"In ‘Gigli,’ Ben Affleck has a constant smirk on his face. His costar and real-life fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, also sports a mischievous grin. It's as if J. Lo and Ben are laughing to themselves and thinking, ‘We can make a really bad movie and people will still pay to see us.’ Well, they had better rake in big bucks opening weekend, because once word gets out about how painful and laughably bad this film is, it will tank faster than you can say ‘Bennifer’"… Lisa Leigh Connors, The Christian Science Monitor