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Gigli (2003)

by on 2011/02/20

“Your tongue would slap your brains out trying to get to it!”


Gigli is a screaming, lurching reanimated corpse of a film composed of raw, bleeding chunks cut from the bodies of Rain Man, Get Shorty and Chasing Amy.

Yes, I had heard Gigli was bad.

Seeing, however, is believing. (I am the woman in the horror film who needs to go and find out what made that noise in the basement).

Hacker Renders got this movie for me as part of an ironic Valentine’s Day gift basket that included a plastic, singing rose that lit up, a delete-bin romance novel featuring an oiled-up shirtless man on the cover, a K-Tel’s Greatest Love Songs compilation and other assorted plastic, tacky tokens of ironic affection.

I decided to stop nudging Gigli with a twig and just watch the ruddy thing. Since February is’s is Romance Month, the time was finally nigh. I held my breath and shoved the DVD into my Playstation.

Now in the aftermath of the Gigli screening, I’m not sure if the Valentine’s Day gift basket can really be called “ironic”. Maybe Hacker Renders was really mad at me last year. Because Gigli actually hurt.

Starring then-couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Gigli was written and directed by Scent of a Woman director Martin Brest. The dialogue is cut-rate Elmore Leonard interspersed with Oprah-grade pop psychology. I could see Lopez, playing the lesbian criminal Ricki, wincing and crinkling up her nose as she delivered some of the lines.

Larry (Affleck) is an incompetent enforcer or “vicious man dog” for a small-time hood. Larry is also, how do you say, incredibly embarrassing to watch.

Case in point:

“If by some f*ckin’ miracle long shot you haven’t heard of my reputation let me tell you who the f*ck I am! I am the f*ckin’ Sultan of Slick, Sadie! I am the rule of f*ckin’ cool! You wanna be a gangster? You wanna be a thug? You sit at my f*ckin’ feet and gather the pearls that emanate forth from me! Because I’m the f*ckin’ original, straight-first-foremost, pimp-mack, f*ckin hustler, original gangster’s gangster!”

Affleck, clad in a wife beater, ambles around like a goomba mountain gorilla. I wanted to avert my eyes. But I could not.

Larry and Ricki are paid to kidnap the autistic brother of a federal prosecutor. The brother Brian (Justin Bartha) is meant to be the sweet, disabled, redemptive character a la Rain Man that makes the bad people around him CHANGE.THEIR.WAYS. Instead Brian spends most of his screen time screaming, dribbling sunflower seeds, reciting rap lyrics and smiling slackly like Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsRuprecht.

Did you know Al Pacino and Christopher Walken were in this film? I didn’t. Publicists were probably working overtime to suppress their involvement.

Walken plays a snoopy detective, hot on the trail of the irritating Ricki and Larry. Walken’s detective  just might have a bad case of paranoid schizophrenia given some of the things he snaps out:

“Man, you know what I’d love to do, right now? Go down to Marie Callender’s, get me a big bowl, pie, some ice cream on it, mmm-hmm good! Put some on your head! Your tongue would slap your brains out trying to get to it! INTERESTED?! SURE?!”


Pacino plays the big crime boss sporting a pony-tail and huge glasses. He’s loud. Loud. LOUD. That’s all I have to say.

The rest of the film sees Affleck and Lopez engaged in repulsive courting behaviours and a campaign of lesbian conversion. In a witheringly bad speech about the rules of attraction and her own homosexuality, Ricki tells Larry that the human impulse is to kiss the lips, and the human pout is the close relation of …well, you know. Whereas the male member is like a sea slug. And who wants to kiss a seaslug?

Yes, she said sea slug. Because as she’s introduced as a “clamlicker.” There’s more maritime references than Moby Dick.

Mostly it is lesbian dialogue written by a sniggering 15-year-old boy.

With 45 minutes left in the film, I turned on the time counter and watched the remaining seconds go. Time actually stood still. But I stuck it out to the very bitter end. It was bitter all right.

The film’s most infamous lines are the perfect way to conclude this review:

“It is turkey time. Gobble, gobble.”

I have your turkey right here.


Rated R for wRetchedness

121 eye-gougingly awful minutes

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