Gigli (2003)

R   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Romance


Gigli (2003) Poster

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.


2.5/10
45,633

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  • Jennifer Lopez in Gigli (2003)
  • Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in Gigli (2003)
  • Jennifer Lopez in Gigli (2003)
  • Jennifer Lopez in Gigli (2003)
  • Ben Affleck in Gigli (2003)
  • Jennifer Lopez in Gigli (2003)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Martin Brest

Writer:

Martin Brest

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


18 January 2004 | gregsrants
1
| Critics, we owe you an apology
`Awful', `Hopeless', `Terrible', `Benifer's Gate'.

These are the words I read from some of North America's most respected film critics in my research before viewing the debacle Gigli starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. At first, I wondered aloud 'how bad can it be'. After all, how often does the common public agree with the harsh words of a critic. Besides, Pacino and Walken in the same film should be enough to generate even one star out of even the sternest critic, right. Right?

Gigli is about two unbelievable gangsters who are assigned the task of kidnapping and watching over a prosecutors mentally challenged brother while also keeping an open eye on each other to ensure the success of the operation. Ben plays Gigli, an accent challenged goon who is as believable as Madonna in a nuns uniform, and Jennifer plays Ricky, a lesbian gangster who is primarily hired to ensure that Gigli doesn't screw things up.

Along the way, plenty of bit characters and ridiculous side plots stymie the progress of the mission. Ricky has an ex-lover show up at the house and attempt suicide, the gangsters ask for the thumb of the prisoner sent to the prosecutor, Gigli has to rush to his mothers house and learns that good ole ma knows all about lesbians and throughout the film we are constantly annoyed by conversations between Gigli and his crime boss, Lenny over the phone. I could go on, but what's the point.

Gigli was one of the worst reviewed films of 2003. So I began to wonder why this film in particular ended up on everyone's poop list even though there were plenty of worse films people were throwing good money at (Boat Trip, Bad Boys II, Masked and Anonymous). The answer became pretty obvious. Nothing was expected of these other entries, but Gigli had the star power of the two most talked about celebrities in Tinseltown. Throw in director Martin Brest who has had incredible success with Scent of a Woman, Midnight Run and Beverley Hills Cop, and sprinkle in the veteran a-list power of Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. With a recipe as rich as these ingredients suggest, one's expectations are set to a higher standard. Gigli simply does not deliver the goods. The dialogue is so laughable that you expect this film to have midnight showings a la Rocky Horror Picture Show in the next ten years, and the characters are so eccentrically hysterical that you can't help but cringe in your seat in embarrassment for all those involved.

So now back to the critics. We, owe you an apology. Most of the year, we read your reviews and chastise your opinions, but every once and a while, a consensus amongst your peers keeps us from going in mass and spending our hard earned dollars on crap like this. A $6 million dollar domestic take for Gigli is an example of the power that you possess, and for that, I will keep reading.

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Trivia

The script was rewritten several times, ballooning the budget from $54 million to $75.6 million.


Quotes

Larry Gigli: 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.


Goofs

Ricki takes her herbal tea bag from her cup, wraps the string around it, and drops it onto her saucer - moments later, it's back in the cup.


Crazy Credits

Towards the end of the credits Brian (Justin Bartha) can be heard singing his rendition of "Baby Got Back".


Alternate Versions

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."


Soundtracks

The Beach Song
Written and produced by
Buster and Shavoni and John Powell
Performed by B. Slade, Ann Nesby and the Unsung Choir
Tonéx appears courtesy of Verity Records
Ann Nesby appears courtesy of It's Time Child Records/RT Entertainment

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Crime | Romance

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