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‘Gigli’ misfires on several counts

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

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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

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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.

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* The seeds of comedic genius can be sensed in some of the

humorous scenes.

* 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

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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

release.

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

him.

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.

If you would like to become a Reel Critic and see a movie on the

newspaper’s tab, call entertainment editor Joyce Rudolph at 637-3241.


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