Gigli

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Gigli
Gigliposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Martin Brest
Produced by Martin Brest
Casey Silver
Written by Martin Brest
Starring Ben Affleck
Jennifer Lopez
Justin Bartha
Music by John Powell
Cinematography Robert Elswit
Editing by Julie Monroe
Billy Weber
Studio Revolution Studios
City Light Films
Casey Silver Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • August 1, 2003 (2003-08-01)
Running time 121 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75.6 million[2]
Box office $7,266,209[3]

Gigli (/ˈli/, JEE-lee) is a 2003 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Martin Brest and starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Lainie Kazan.

After a protracted battle between studio and director, a radically revised version of the original film was released. There was significant media attention and popular interest prior to its release, primarily because Affleck and Lopez, the film's stars, were romantically involved at the time. Critical reception was extremely negative, and in the years since its release Gigli has frequently been cited as one of the worst films ever made. The film was also a financial crash, grossing back only $7.2 million against a $75.6 million budget.

Plot[edit]

Larry Gigli is a low-ranking Los Angeles mobster who isn't nearly as tough as he likes to act. He is commanded to kidnap the mentally challenged younger brother of a powerful federal prosecutor to save New York-based mob boss Starkman from prison. Gigli successfully convinces the young man, Brian, to go off with him by promising to take him "to the Baywatch", which seems to be Brian's singular obsession, and turns out to just be the beach. The man who ordered the kidnapping, Louis, does not trust Gigli to get the job done right, so he hires a woman calling herself Ricki to take charge.

Gigli is attracted to Ricki, but he resents the fact that Louis does not have faith in him and that he has to take orders from a woman. He is also frustrated by Brian's insistence on going to "the Baywatch" and by Ricki's being a lesbian. The events take a darker turn when Gigli and Ricki receive orders to cut off Brian's thumb, something neither wants to do. Worse, Ricki's girlfriend, Robin, shows up at Gigli's apartment, accusing her of cheating. She slits her wrists and has to be rushed to the hospital. While at the hospital, Gigli goes to the morgue and cuts off a corpse's thumb, which he sends to his boss as Brian's thumb. Gigli and Ricki go back to his apartment where Gigli confesses his love, and the two sleep together.

They are summoned to meet with the mob's boss. Starkman reveals that he didn't approve of the plan to kidnap a federal prosecutor's brother and scolds them because the thumb they sent won't match Brian's fingerprint; he then kills Louis. Starkman is about to kill Ricki and Gigli as well, but Ricki talks him out of it. They decide to take Brian back to where they found him. On the way, they discover Baywatch (or a similarly themed show or film) shooting an episode on the beach. They leave a happy Brian there, and at the last minute, Ricki decides to leave town with Gigli.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Gigli was considered a massive box office bomb, grossing less than $4 million in its opening weekend after costing $75.6 million to produce.[2] The film also set a record to date for the biggest second-weekend drop in box office gross of any film in wide release since that statistic was kept; it dropped by almost 82% in its second weekend compared to its first.[4] By its third weekend in release, only 73 U.S. theaters were showing it, down from 2,215 during its first weekend, a drop of 97%. In 2014, the LA Times listed the film as one of the most expensive box office flops of all time.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reception was extremely negative. Gigli scored 6% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 171 reviews, with the site's consensus being: "Bizarre and clumsily plotted, Gigli is a mess. As for its stars, Affleck and Lopez lack chemistry."[6] It scored 18% on Metacritic based on 37 reviews, meaning "extreme dislike".[7]

On Ebert and Roeper, critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper both gave the film thumbs down, although Ebert showed some sympathy towards the film, stating it had "clever dialogue", but was "...too disorganized for me to recommend it". Roeper called the film "a disaster" and "one of the worst movies I've ever seen". He then included Gigli on his 100 worst movies of the decade at #7.[citation needed]

Its title was named by the Global Language Monitor as one of the top words from Hollywood having an impact on the English language in 2003.[8] Late night talk show hosts in particular lampooned the film in their monologues; Conan O'Brien said "The Mets are doing so badly that they will be renamed 'The New York Gigli.'" The film was withdrawn from U.S. theatres after only three weeks (one of the shortest circulation times for a big-budget movie), earning a total of only $6 million domestically and $1 million abroad. In the UK, the film was dropped by virtually every cinema after critics panned it.

The film was nominated for nine and received six Razzies in the 2003 Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Screen Couple. A year later, the film won a seventh Razzie for "Worst Comedy of Our First 25 Years". The film was also nominated for eleven and received five Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 2003; Worst Actor and Worst Fake Accent - Male, Worst Actress and Worst Fake Accent - Female and Worst On-Screen Couple.[9]

Yahoo! Movies rates Gigli number one on their Bottom Rated Movies of All Time,[10] with a critics' rating of D−.[11] The Onion, a satirical newspaper, ran an article about the film, titled "Gigli focus groups demand new ending in which Affleck and Lopez die."[12] Roger Ebert and James Berardinelli, while panning the film, were two of the very few critics to not write it off completely.[13] Ebert gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "They didn't quite get to where they wanted to be, but the film is worth seeing for some very good scenes." Berardinelli gave it two stars, saying, "This isn't a good film, but, when set alongside the likes of Dumb and Dumberer and Legally Blonde 2, Jen & Ben offer less pain."[14]

Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman gave the film a "C+", stating "A watchable bad movie, but it's far from your typical cookie-cutter blockbuster. There are no shoot-outs or car chases, and there isn't much romantic suspense, either."[citation needed]

One of the few positive reviews came from Amy Dawes of Variety, who wrote that the story was ludicrous and that the film would tank, but that on balance she found it a fun film with several good performances.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]