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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Gigli's bad omen
By Neil Smith
BBC News Online

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Lopez and Affleck postponed their wedding
Hollywood "on-off" couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez star in Gigli, widely regarded as the film turkey of the year.

The announcement that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have called off their wedding came as no surprise to those who have endured their latest screen collaboration.

The A-list pair may yet tie the knot, but judging by Gigli's dismal takings at the US box office, the honeymoon is definitely over.

Even the stars have owned up to its failings.

"I don't think ultimately the movie held up as a whole," Affleck said last month. "You can put scenes together and sometimes they just don't work."

Despite this, distributor Columbia TriStar remained committed to releasing Gigli in the UK, and it made its debut on Friday.

Vanity

The garbage pails of Tinseltown are filled to the brim with ill-advised vanity projects starring real-life Hollywood couples.

Madonna leads the pack with Shanghai Surprise (made with first husband Sean Penn), Dick Tracy (featuring geriatric squeeze Warren Beatty) and Swept Away (directed by husband number two Guy Ritchie).

But Affleck is not far behind. Having made sappy weepie Bounce with then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow, the Daredevil actor repeated the mistake by teaming up with Lopez on Gigli.

It was on this film that Bennifer was born, their on-set affair leading to the Latino star's divorce from dancer Cris Judd and subsequent engagement to Affleck.

Somewhere under Gigli's woeful excuse for a script, jarring inconsistency of tone and self-regarding flatulence lies the embryo of a decent picture
Would that Gigli were a fitting monument to this tabloid-friendly match. Alas, Martin Brest's spectacularly ill-conceived "comedy" could not be more turkey if it had feathers and a beak.

Dim-witted

Affleck plays Larry Gigli (the surname rhymes with "really"), a dim-witted mob goon ordered to kidnap, then babysit the mentally-challenged younger brother of the federal prosecutor investigating Larry's boss.

Lopez is Ricki, a lesbian enforcer hired to make sure Larry does not screw up.

OK, let us recap. A thug and a lesbian assassin in a motel room, awaiting orders to maim and possibly murder a defenceless teenager. And they thought this was a good idea for a movie?

It gets worse. Larry falls for Ricki, who - even more unbelievably - falls for him. The romance has a few hiccups, though - like when our heroes are told to hack off one of the kid's fingers.

Flat-footed

Somewhere under Gigli's woeful excuse for a script, jarring inconsistency of tone and self-regarding flatulence lies the embryo of a decent picture.

After all, it cannot just be loyalty to Brest that made Christopher Walken and Al Pacino chip in a brace of lively cameos.

The result, though, will only be of interest to stinker aficionados and those in search of cracks in its stars' relationship.

Indeed, if Lopez and Affleck never make it up the aisle, Gigli will surely come to be seen as the beginning of the end.

Gigli is now showing across the UK.


Have you seen the film? Is it as bad as you thought it would be? This debate is now closed but please see below for a selection of your comments.

In Gigli, Ben and Jennifer took me on a wonderful cinematic journey, where through their combined acting talent, they have managed to capture the honesty, humour and ultimately the integrity of true love, having overcome the hurdles of stereo-type and prejudice before them. Not.
Chris Minett, London, UK

It's a good movie. I think people are way to critical and pick it apart because of Jen and Ben's issues. They are both good actors and not every movie is going to be a huge hit, but occasionally some good movies come out that are never even given a second look. Personally I love both Ben and Jen and the movie is fine. On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the greatest, it is an 8.
Brandy Armstrong, USA

I can't believe how bad it is! It should have been billed as an "accidental comedy"! And isn't it a bit of a coincidence that now that it's been released, the couple split up? Maybe when the producers realised how bad it was, they put pressure on Jen and Ben to pretend that they were still together to bring on the maximum publicity? Or am I just being cynical?
Fiona, UK




SEE ALSO:
Radio runs Gigli 'survival' contest
13 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Affleck admits Gigli failings
12 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Lopez and Affleck movie bombs
04 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Rumours fly over Lopez 'break-up'
15 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Hollywood's wedding battles
11 Sep 03  |  Entertainment


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