So exactly how bad is this pretentious, ultra-hyped exploitation of the
off-screen romance of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck? Think Madonna and Sean
Penn in "Shanghai Surprise."
Ben Affleck plays the title character, Larry Gigli, a dimwitted thug
assigned to kidnap a mentally-challenged youngster (Justin Bartha), the kid
brother of a federal prosecutor who's causing trouble for a New York mobster.
Assisting him is Ricki - that's Jennifer Lopez - who tells him "You're not my
type." What she means is: she's a proud, domineering lesbian - until Affleck
comes along. (In 1997, he pulled a similar bedding-a-lesbian stunt in "Chasing
Written and directed by Martin Brest ("Meet Joe Black"), the
dysfunctional narrative includes an abundance of sexual slurs, vulgarity,
gratuitous violence and unnecessarily explicit dialogue. J.Lo's "Gobble,
gobble" scene sinks embarrassing comedy to a new low.
In cameos, Al Pacino pays his debt to Martin Brest for directing "Scent
of a Woman," and Christopher Walken astutely observes: "You don't know nuthin'.
I can tell just by lookin' at ya."
There's been publicity about how the studio airbrushed the poster, making
J.Lo's breasts look bigger and her butt look smaller but - like - who cares?
Thirty years ago, movies and TV routinely depicted homosexuals as suicidal or
psychopathic. Now, gay-themed stories are gaining a wider audience. So why go
back to the hackneyed, insulting, "She says she's a lesbian but that means
she's never met the right man" concept? On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10,
"Gigli" is an onerous 1. Although Ben Affleck tells us "Gigli" rhymes with
"really," it signifies "silly." And Lopez herself sums it up with, "It's turkey
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger