admit it

July 30, 2003

You want to see Gigli every bit as much as I do.

“Review: Ben and J-Lo’s ‘Gigli’: It’s Turkey Time, Gobble, Gobble”

It’s not so easy to make a great howler of a bad movie. In recent years, Madonna ‘s made more than her share: “Shanghai Surprise,” “Swept Away,” “Who’s That Girl,” among them.

In 2001, Mariah Carey starred in “Glitter,” which has only aged badly since its laughable premiere. And then there’s “Showgirls,” “Striptease,” “The Postman,” “Waterworld,” “Ishtar,” and the perceived king of kings, “Heaven’s Gate.”

Now add to the very top of the list, “Gigli” — directed by Martin Brest, who actually has another title on the list already: “Meet Joe Black.”

Witless, coarse, and vulgar, “Gigli” is worse than its advance buzz could have indicated. Starring real-life tabloid lovers Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, the film — if you can call it that — is a total, mindless disaster. Sitting in a screening last night with reviewers and feature writers, I could only think of one word: stupefying.

As many who were there muttered on the way out: “What were they thinking?”

First, the acting: Lopez and Affleck may have chemistry at home, but they have none here. Affleck comes off the worst. As hitman Larry Gigli, Affleck seems to be doing a bad imitation of James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano.

A thuggish Brooklyn-esque accent comes and goes, and Affleck never figures out whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. While these gears are turning in his head, you can’t help notice that he’s a hitman wearing a luxurious Gucci leather jacket and gorgeous silk tops. He also appears to be wearing Ted Danson’s toupee from “Cheers.”


Then Friedman really starts to pick on the film.

Come on, the buzz is amazing. Just look at what other critics have to say:

“I was shocked,” says “Good Morning America”’s Joel Siegel. “It’s very bad storytelling.”

“It’s horrible,” moans Roger Friedman of “The worst movie ever made.”

And those two made it to the end of Monday night’s screening of Ben Affleck (search) and Jennifer Lopez’s (search) ultra-hyped “Gigli.” More than one person walked out.

The buzz on Ben and Jen’s first movie is so bad – think Madonna’s “Swept Away” — Revolution Studios even had trouble filling the L.A. premiere, giving seats usually reserved for stars to the fans waiting outside.

“It’s definitely not a fastball down the middle,” Revolution partner Tom Sherak admitted to The Post. “It’s a curve ball.”

What are you waiting for? Somebody needs to order us tickets pronto! Still not convinced? Check out these words from CNS, the ever-(unintentionally)-hilarious Catholic News Service:

On a much more disturbing level, the narrative is fueled by a warped view of sexuality inconsistent with Catholic teachings on the subject. Beneath the banality of the offensive sexual banter which pervades much of the dialogue is a more insidious denial of objective moral norms concerning sexual intimacy. Brest seems to suggest that sexuality is merely a malleable social construct — illustrated by Ricki’s waffling proclivities. The film’s moral relativism is summed up by Gigli’s mother (Lainie Kazan), who, shrugging off Ricki’s homosexuality, states, “Life is not always black and white” — in other words, there is no objective morality, only subjective shades of gray.

In “Gigli,” Lopez has hit new J-lows. If her next pairing with Affleck in the soon to be released “Jersey Girl” is anything like this clunker, she may be known as Jenny from the schlock.

Due to a sexual encounter, excessive sexually explicit and rough language, as well as profanity and brief strong violence, the USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted.

O for Offensive. What more can I say, really?

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