Positive light is dim
Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a freelance writer based in Glendale.
Tired of the sewer-mouthed reviews of “Gigli” I’d been reading, I
bought a ticket determined to present a contrarian viewpoint. With a
few notable exceptions, movies directed by the writer (or written by
the director) are doomed. Because no checks and balances exist, the
finished product is often flawed. “Gigli” is no exception.
If fans must pay nine-plus dollars to see this calamity, here are
some positives to watch for:
* Jennifer Lopez lights up a screen. No surprise there.
* Ben Affleck is adorable despite being severely miscast.
* The film examines our culture’s use of intimidation -- in
everything from war to sex. It is a worthy topic, seldom explored.
* In Al Pacino’s one notable scene, he does that thing with his
eyes -- the merest flicker of recognition -- that elicits envy from
other actors and admiration from his fans. It’s pure magic.
* The seeds of comedic genius can be sensed in some of the
* Martin Brest may have written the most seductive sex scene with
no body contact of all time. It’s an indication of the talent gone to
waste because he insisted on doing it all himself.
Only draw is leads’ names
John Haugh of Glendale is a music research specialist.
What do you have when a film that bills itself as a romantic
comedy is neither romantic nor funny? You have “Gigli” starring Ben
Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
This is the story of Larry Gigli. The last name rhymes with
“really” as in “Is this movie really that bad?”
The film isn’t bad. It’s just insignificant. If it didn’t star one
of Hollywood’s hottest couples, it would be a straight-to-video
Gigli is a small-time hood who is assigned to kidnap an apparently
autistic young man who is the brother of a federal prosecutor.
Gigli’s boss thinks he is unreliable and sends another hood to assist
Lopez plays the partner in crime who apparently works better when
she is dressed like a stripper. Her character is a lesbian also, but
that appears to fluctuate.
Affleck, who is about as Italian as Sauerkraut, has an accent that
also seems to vary. I was often distracted by his pompadour and his
pallid complexion. It looks like Gigli travels everywhere by tunnel
he is so pale.
The three characters ride around in a convertible spouting
hackneyed dialogue until the movie comes to a predictable conclusion.
“Gigli” only earns a C- on my movie report card.
* “Gigli” is rated R for sexual content, pervasive language and
brief strong violence.
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