thatcow

Rhymes with Really... oh just fill in the blank yourself

In my ongoing tour of bad movies, I have finally witnessed the most recent infamous affront to critical tastes, the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez (formerly "Bennifer") vehicle, Gigli.

The film does live up to its anti-hype. We start off with our gangster with a conscience, Larry Gigli, who manages to have no real character, no real commitment. Affleck sets his teeth into a strong characterization, mostly of a dumb, bullheaded softie in the wrong line of work, but the effort dissipates in front of our eyes, the victim of paper-thin writing.

Lopez plays Ricki, the hard nosed, effective contractor brought in to make sure Gigli does his job. And oh, yeah, she's a lesbian, which isn't so much an afterthought of the movie, but of her character.

Together, they shield the retarded brother of the district attorney from the vile badness of... the bad guy. Except, in the end, he isn't the bad guy when Al Pacino steps in, and in one scene, kills the old bad guy, and clearly becomes the more vile, double badness of a barely-present antagonist.

For all the energy around kidnapping this guy and then only pretending to do such things as cutting off his thumb, the movie is really just a pretext for romance. Yes, it's like Affleck tried to remake his own Chasing Amy to try to make his character more cool. The romance fails miserably. Okay, correction - they do seem to have chemistry, which may not be a surprise, but what of the tension? Aside from the requisite lesbian kissing scene, the apparent difficulty of Ricki not being attracted to men is about as much an inconvenience as a canker sore. By the end of the film, a dab or two of virtual ointment puts them together, if with a faux edginess to it, like any romance of gangster types would be.

The one thing I'll give the film is that it's outline could have been the basis for a better film - not a great one, or even a good one without some restructuring, but there could have been something to watch. The scenes themselves, and the dialog, have such a lack of depth, it would have been more interesting to see these people recite nursery rhymes at each other.

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