Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Better Late Than Never: "Gigli" Movie Review

I know this review is a few years too late, but I just saw "Gigli" on TV on Sunday, and had to weigh in. Here's the summary: "Gigli" is a bad movie. It isn't badly made, technically. Some parts are even good. The problem lies squarely with the story, which is what makes this movie so unforgivable. Someone should have looked at the script and said, "You know, this needs work" before they ever started shooting.

The basic premise of two mobsters assigned to watch a kidnap victim and falling in love is fine. One bad idea was making Brian the kidnap victim a mentally challenged person. At its best, the portrayal of Brian is a rip-off of "Rain Man," complete with an obsession with a TV show (substitute "Baywatch" for "People's Court"). At its worst, the portrayal is an insensitive caricature of a serious illness, clearly intended to be comedy relief. Another problem is that Lopez's character is a lesbian. This should be an insurmountable obstacle to the romance, but in the end, the movie falls back on an insulting and archaic "lesbians just need a good man to straighten them out" stereotype.

This certainly isn't Affleck and Lopez's worst performance, but it's not good either. With her thick accent and vapid expression, Lopez is miscast as an intellectual. At times, she's almost struggling to pronounce all the big words the script gives her. As for Affleck, his character is supposed to be a moron, and he plays it too well, giving us no subtleties or complexity to the character other than a bad Italian stereotype. This leaves us with long stretches of Lopez and Affleck arguing with each other while Brian yells nonsensical or inappropriate things in the background.

The ending itself is ludicrous. I don't want to spoil it, so skip this paragraph if you care. Ready? Okay. In the end, they take Brian to the beach, where (surprise) they're shooting "Baywatch." This is equivalent to Tom Cruise taking Dustin Hoffman to "The People's Court" in "Rainman." It's too cheesy for words.

In the end, the movie is not the worst movie ever made. Compared to "Plan 9 From Outer Space," "Gigli" is a masterpiece. If this movie starred Kathy Griffin and Bruce Campbell and cost $100,000 to make, it might even be a great movie. But "Gigli" was over-hyped and over promoted. With this kind of star power and money behind it, there's no excuse for it being this poor. In that sense, it really is a horrible movie.


Mauricem said...

That's funny because I saw it on and asked myself "am I really willing to sit through this movie?" and decided I would just trust popular opion. Thanks for the review. BTW was the yoga scene as good as I heard it was?

Monkey Migraine said...

The yoga scene? I'll be honest, I don't know. It was less than ten seconds long in the version I saw. I'm guessing they cut out a lot of it. But hey, Jennifer Lopez in tights...can't be bad.