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.

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2.4/10
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  • Jennifer Lopez in Gigli (2003)
  • Jennifer Lopez in Gigli (2003)
  • Jennifer Lopez in Gigli (2003)
  • Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in Gigli (2003)
  • Ben Affleck in Gigli (2003)
  • Jennifer Lopez in Gigli (2003)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Martin Brest

Writer:

Martin Brest

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


15 February 2004 | bob the moo
Suffered from Ben and J-Lo backlash and isn't as bad as many say, but is still an ill-formed, poorly judged shambles
Larry Gigli is a hired thug for the mob in LA. When he is put on a job to kidnap the brother of the Federal DA, he takes the mentally handicapped Brian to his flat with the intention of the DA dropping charges against his boss. Later he is joined by another contractor, Ricki, who Louis has put with him to make sure he doesn't f**k the job up. His amorous approaches towards her are rejected when she tells him she is a lesbian, but the two have bigger problems with the job itself.

I rented this film because I had read all the harsh reviews, both professional and on this site, that just ripped into it and seemed to have more personal vendettas against the stars rather than objective points to make about the film. With this in mind I decided that I would have to check it out myself; I have no personal feelings about Lopez and Affleck - their relationship is not something I have had rammed down my throat as I don't read the gossips mags and my paper of choice is the Times, where they get rather limited coverage. Without this fatigue I was able to view the film as it came to me rather than seething with cruel and clever put downs even before the film started (as some critics clearly did).

However, the critics were mostly right, even if they overreacted to the extreme. The film starts reasonably well and you can see the potential, or at least you can see what they were thinking when the film was being put together. Sadly, as the film continues, the thin strands holding it together are slowly unravelling until almost nothing is left of value. Some of it works well; how many times have the audience embraced a comic crime caper with hit men in the lead roles? Here the film does have some of that type of humour (particularly in the jokes about Gigli's masculinity) but the music used to set the tone begins to grate after a while because there is nothing to support it, and everything else is flawed.

The main plot is so very full of holes and stupid plot devices that it is difficult to be involved by it. For a crime comedy, the plot doesn't need to be perfect - but it needs to be good enough so that it doesn't take away from the film, here it is so weak that it damages the film at it's core. The other side of the plot is the romance, and it is absurd! I'm sure if I were a lesbian that I would be offended by the `I'll turn her' approach of the film, but I'm not so I'll leave that for others to debate. However the romance between the two is unrealistic and uninvolving, the lesbian thing just makes it worse.

The characters themselves are poor. Neither Gigli or Ricki ever seem like killers - in fact even a hint of violence and they look terrified and out of their depth. His personality seems to change to whatever the scene requires (one moment impatient, the next sensitive, the next angry) while Ricki is just sweetness and light. Affleck and Lopez must take almost all the blame for this, their performances are as misjudged and lacking as the script. Affleck is actually not that bad - he is willing to send himself up, it is the jumping script that makes him appear to be all over the place. Lopez is awful; someone who has done this crime comedy style movie before should have been much better but she acts like she is in a simpering rom-com. What is surprising is just how little chemistry the two have considering they are a couple now; they just don't do the job at all.

Bartha gives a dumb Rain Man impression to the point where I kept expecting him to say `I'm an excellent driver'. His character is just a joke and I even wished for Lopez to come onto the screen whenever he was on - at least I could just stare at her body and ignore him! The two main cameos are actually very good but unfortunately serve to show up the rest of the film. Walken is good but his character appears and disappears without reason, Pacino is much better simply because he does his menacing `woo-ha' thing and is very effective.

Overall this is not the `worst film ever made', those who tell you that have clearly have a limited viewing experience; many of the reviews were made harsher by the back lash against the whole Bennifer thing. However that's not to say they are wrong - only overly harsh. The film is poorly judged in almost every aspect and is too hard to enjoy as a result. Has about 3 good moments in it, but it is an overwhelming shambles.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

About half of the film, 52 minutes, is set in Larry Gigli's apartment. The interior of Gigli's apartment was built on a soundstage.


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

Terry Camilleri ("Man in Dryer") is listed before David Backus ("Laundry Customer") in the end credits. But Backus actually appears on-screen before Camilleri.


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

Love The One You're With
Written by
Stephen Stills

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Crime | Romance

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