Gigli was the redheaded stepchild for the press this year. Every film critic near a pen or a microphone bombarded me with Gigli bashing. With this much abuse, even the most self-confident of actors can fight off the criticism. Ben Affleck even went on The Tonight Show and made fun of his movie with Leno. With the abuse piling on, the movie going public stayed away from theatres and Gigli quickly vanished from the marketplace. Yet, I was intrigued by the out and out hatred for this movie. So, I rented the DVD and expected to see utter tripe trollop across my wide screen television. What I got in fact was a movie that was not as bad as advertised.
As usual with press hype, Gigli did not deserve nearly this much attention. Is it good? Not really. However, It isn’t the worst movie of the year. That honor goes to Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle. What we do have with Gigli is a story that didn’t need to be told on the big screen, and a movie suffering from the intense backlash against its stars, Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
Ben Affleck stars as Larry Gigli a two-bit thug with a pretty bad accent. Affleck isn’t the toughest of mobsters and seems to have a bit of a soft spot. Not being a hit man myself, I would assume this isn’t a good characteristic. Gigli is told by his boss to kidnap the mentally challenged guy, Brian, (Bartha) and keep him hidden until Brian’s brother meets their demands. Once back at Gigli’s apartment, we run into Nikki (Lopez). Nikki is a hit-woman herself and is also assigned to the job of hiding Brian. Continuing a plot device of another Affleck movie, Chasing Amy, we have a female lead who is a lesbian that is successfully seduced by Affleck. The guy might not be much of an actor but he’s a lesbian slayer!
To be honest, the rest of the movie is a blur until the obvious ending. The story just isn’t gripping and seems more like a TV show script than a theatrical release. Yet, the characters are likeable, especially Brian. Affleck and Lopez both put on weak performances yet the characters don’t turn you off even if they are supposed “hit men”.
With a story that is poorly crafted and starring the overexposed Bennifer, Gigli became the hip choice as worst movie of the year by people who haven’t seen the movie.
During the Holiday season, feelings of compassion and sympathy for your fellow man fills the souls of even the most cold-hearted of Scrooges. This feeling sure is strong at Columbia Pictures with the release of Gigli on DVD. Columbia has graciously spared us of any "Special Edition" or "Extended Cut" version. Heck, that decision alone raises my rating by a half star. If only they would have released it exclusively on Betamax. I’m sure that would have garnered a Nobel Peace Prize for benevolence towards humanity.
The merry old fellas at Columbia have given us a wonderfully bare-boned DVD that only includes trailers in the extras. Seriously, do we need deleted scenes? How bad is a scene that was cut from Gigli? Do we want a director commentary? What’s he gonna say besides “Yeah, this is when I knew I was gonna lose my house and car.” You can however choose between wide or full screen Bennifer, whichever suits your needs!
Gigli the movie took a beating from the press. Gigli the DVD basically accepts that sentence. If you tell someone they are horrible long enough, even they begin to accept it. Gigli on DVD is a great example of giving up.