`Awful', `Hopeless', `Terrible', `Benifer's Gate'.
These are the words I read from some of North America's most respected film critics in my research before viewing the debacle Gigli starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. At first, I wondered aloud 'how bad can it be'. After all, how often does the common public agree with the harsh words of a critic. Besides, Pacino and Walken in the same film should be enough to generate even one star out of even the sternest critic, right. Right?
Gigli is about two unbelievable gangsters who are assigned the task of kidnapping and watching over a prosecutors mentally challenged brother while also keeping an open eye on each other to ensure the success of the operation. Ben plays Gigli, an accent challenged goon who is as believable as Madonna in a nuns uniform, and Jennifer plays Ricky, a lesbian gangster who is primarily hired to ensure that Gigli doesn't screw things up.
Along the way, plenty of bit characters and ridiculous side plots stymie the progress of the mission. Ricky has an ex-lover show up at the house and attempt suicide, the gangsters ask for the thumb of the prisoner sent to the prosecutor, Gigli has to rush to his mothers house and learns that good ole ma knows all about lesbians and throughout the film we are constantly annoyed by conversations between Gigli and his crime boss, Lenny over the phone. I could go on, but what's the point.
Gigli was one of the worst reviewed films of 2003. So I began to wonder why this film in particular ended up on everyone's poop list even though there were plenty of worse films people were throwing good money at (Boat Trip, Bad Boys II, Masked and Anonymous). The answer became pretty obvious. Nothing was expected of these other entries, but Gigli had the star power of the two most talked about celebrities in Tinseltown. Throw in director Martin Brest who has had incredible success with Scent of a Woman, Midnight Run and Beverley Hills Cop, and sprinkle in the veteran a-list power of Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. With a recipe as rich as these ingredients suggest, one's expectations are set to a higher standard. Gigli simply does not deliver the goods. The dialogue is so laughable that you expect this film to have midnight showings a la Rocky Horror Picture Show in the next ten years, and the characters are so eccentrically hysterical that you can't help but cringe in your seat in embarrassment for all those involved.
So now back to the critics. We, owe you an apology. Most of the year, we read your reviews and chastise your opinions, but every once and a while, a consensus amongst your peers keeps us from going in mass and spending our hard earned dollars on crap like this. A $6 million dollar domestic take for Gigli is an example of the power that you possess, and for that, I will keep reading.