R | | Comedy, Crime, Romance
Larry Gigli is assigned by a crime boss to kidnap the brother of a prominent district attorney. A beautiful woman known only as Ricki is sent to stay with him to make sure he doesn't mess up the job.
Gigli (pronounced Jee-lyee), is Italian for "lilies" and also denotes a type of short-cut, fluted pasta (also known as Cornetti di bue, or ox-horns).
You see, after all is said and done, the only thing you can be really sure of, the only thing you can really count on in this world, is that you just never fucking know.
At one point in the film, before Larry and Ricki head off to Starkman's place, Larry mentions to Ricki about his dream of finding "a clean place"; this revelation seems to come a bit out of nowhere as it is never brought up early on in the film nor mentioned again.
Towards the end of the credits Brian (Justin Bartha) can be heard singing his rendition of "Baby Got Back".
Film critic Michael Dequina saw an early version and described the differences to the released film in his review on 'The Movie Report Archive': "...Gigli plays in theatres a much different film than it once was. Since it looks increasingly unlikely Martin Brest's original Gigli will ever see the light of day again, I feel a need to describe the differences in this original version to the best of my admittedly foggy memory (after all, it has been nearly a year since I saw this original version) to prove that, if nothing else, the film originally added up to something. That said, there isn't too much in the way of concrete differences for most of either version's run time. Although some scenes (such as the detour to Larry's mother's house) originally lasted longer, the film plays more or less the same up to Al Pacino's cameo as mob boss Starkman, with the core trio of Larry, Ricki and Brian coming together in the exact same way, and Larry and Ricki sparring until she boldly declares "it's turkey time." One subtle adjustment, however, makes a difference. In the release version, the first real indication that Larry has any inclination toward leaving the criminal life behind comes late in the film, in a scene where he and Ricki talk in his car the morning after they consummate and right before the meeting with Starkman. Larry tells Ricki about his dream of finding "a clean place," and this revelation seems to come a bit out of nowhere, almost as a last-minute twist to send Larry on the road to Hollywoodized redemption. In the original cut, however, Larry's desire to leave the mob grind is established far earlier and much clearly, mere moments after the opening scene in the laundromat; we see Larry close his eyes and visualize this "clean place"--shown on screen as a pristine tropical beach overlooking an impossibly clear ocean. So when he finally makes mention of the "clean place" to Ricki, the audience knows exactly what he's talking about. Also, this once-recurring thread gives Larry a stronger link to Brian, as they are both--though Larry fails to recognize it--in a sense searching for "The Baywatch," thus turning what may seem like a cheap TV/pop culture reference into something a little more meaningful. Not long after the scene with Starkman comes the scene with Larry, Ricki and Brian driving by the Baywatch, which, much to Brian's delight, is "open"--and after this point the two Giglis veer in wildly different directions. In the release version, the three then stop at the beach; Larry makes arrangements to return Brian home; Brian joins some sort of music video shoot on the beach and meets the Aussie girl of his dreams; Larry lets Ricki take his car to escape to parts unknown--only to have her return and pick him up, and the two leave Los Angeles and a life of crime. Fade out; credits. While a beach-set scene also capped off the first version of Gigli, there was still a good deal of movie left to go at this point, during which a number of the plot and character points left dangling in the release cut are resolved. A number of points are resolved in a scene immediately after this first pass by the Baywatch. Larry pulls the car over by the side of a road, and Ricki finally comes clean to Larry, no doubt due to the violent scene at Starkman's place. She reveals that her real name is Rochelle, and she actually isn't a contractor--which then follows through on a number of points made earlier in the film: (1) during their first meet, Larry tells her that he hadn't seen her around before and didn't look like a contractor; and (2) Ricki's insistence on talking her way out of sticky situations, namely the confrontation with thugs at the fast food stand and the meeting at Starkman's. Ricki goes on to reveal that the actual hitwoman was her girlfriend Robin, whose single-scene appearance barging into Larry's apartment and slashing her wrists is rather bewildering without this payoff. She and Robin had some relationship problems, and as an as escape Rochelle tried to taste what Robin's life was like, and hence her showing up on Larry's doorstep. Since she was role playing, Ricki's "fence-jumping" with Larry makes more sense, as perhaps she did it because it was something she thought Robin would do; even "turkey time" makes more sense, as it was perhaps Rochelle's misbegotten idea of "tough" speak. But now having had her taste and then some after seeing Starkman kill Larry's higher-up Louis right in front of them, Rochelle tries to get Larry to pick up and leave with her. He declines, and so Rochelle takes her things and leaves him and Brian in the car. Rochelle is never again seen or heard from for the rest of the film; at the end there's no friendly reunion, let alone a lovey-dovey one. Not only does the loss of this scene harm the film from a basic story perspective, it also does a disservice to Lopez's performance. The entire crux of the character is in this scene, and, indeed, it is Lopez's finest moment in the film. With its deletion, what's left is a performance that can understandably be criticized as being an overly soft, less-than-convincing portrayal of a mob enforcer--because, after all, Ricki was originally conceived and performed as never being an actual one. With Ricki/Rochelle gone, Larry decides to do the right thing and turn Brian in to Christopher Walken's cop character, Jacobellis, whose role was substantially larger than the cameo that now remains. The two meet up in a warehouse, where Jacobellis, in another showy Walken speech, reveals that he has been working for Starkman all along--thus showing to Larry that even the apparent good guys in this world are also corrupt. There's gunplay, and Larry ends up shooting Jacobellis dead. However, Larry catches a bullet himself, square in the gut. A visibly shaken Brian sees his wound--"You're bleeding, Larry," he matter-of-factly states in a noticeably more somber tone--but Larry insists that he's fine. Slowly bleeding to death, Larry drives Brian all the way back to the Baywatch; there's a certain bittersweetness as Brian's excitement contrasts against Larry's dying selflessness, and the rough cut's temp score (Hans Zimmer's familiar Gladiator music) effectively enhanced the mood. Much of what follows then progresses as seen in the release version: Larry urges Brian on to join the dancers on the beach; Brian meets the Australian girl. However, Larry's reaction shots are completely different; instead of being alive and upright, nodding along, Larry is lying on the sand, bleeding, dying, which then makes Brian's shyness and uncertain looks all the more understandable. The music (in the rough cut, the song was "Let's Get Loud," a track from Lopez's first album) and dancing starts and, as in the release version, the action eventually goes into slow motion. But then we end on Larry's face, as he looks to the ocean, which we see is the spitting image of his fantasy "clean place"--he's finally found it, and what led him there was, ironically, the life path he was hoping to escape."
$3,753,518 (USA) (3 August 2003)
$6,068,735 (USA) (17 August 2003)