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The Masked Reviewer

Gigli is the latest from director Martin Brest (tee-hee! Try not to titter at the name...) who you may remember as the director of such films as Meet Joe Black and Scent of a Woman, or maybe more favorably from Beverly Hills Cop and Midnight Run.  Fine films, those were. 

The name of the film is the same name of the main character, which is pronounced like "really", with a "j" at the beginning.  It's not "giggly" or "jiggly" or "guy-gleye".  Unfortunately, figuring out how to pronounce the film is the most interesting thing about it.  It's one of those strange films that sounds familiar, like it's a remake of some mediocre 50's film, but it isn't, and -- with any luck -- no one will ever try to make this film again.

The film stars J-Lo, and her recent fiancee, Ben Affleck, who will probably start calling himself "B-Aff" now. 

In keeping with his own policies, the Masked Reviewer won't give away anything about the plot, because heaven knows that if you see this film, you wouldn't want the big surprises to be ruined!  And the Masked Reviewer doesn't want to take the heat for ruining anyone's experience at Gigli.  The Masked Reviewer believes that there's an audience for every film.  Somewhere, someone thought A.I.  was a good film.  There will be someone, somewhere, some day, that really enjoys Gigli.  But it's hard to imagine who.

That's not to say that this is the worst film ever.  It's not that bad, can sit through it.  The stars are both charismatic, though it's a bit of a stretch to see Ben Affleck as the tough guy and Jennifer Lopez as the educated sophisticate.  They're fun to watch at times, and they do get a few laughs, but they're few and far between.  The pacing of the film is painfully slow, especially for a romantic comedy with plot points that involve organized crime. 

Justin Bartha, in his first role, plays a retarded teenager.  Maybe he was brain damaged.  It's hard to tell from his performance.  It's a bit like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman, only more of an elementary school version.   People who are offended by people making fun of people with mental disabilities may find the film offensive, as they make fun of the retard.   And, it's not particularly funny.

There is another part of the film that might be offensive to gay and/or lesbian viewers, that won't be described here.  But, if you're a sensitive gay man or lesbian woman, you might not groove on the messages of the film.  And if you're a queer retard, you should just forget about it completely.  Oh, lighten up!  The Masked Reviewer is just kidding.  Some of his best friends are sexually ambiguous and not quite all there mentally.  The words "queer" and "retard" were used for illustrative purposes only. 

The bright spots of the film are one scene by Christopher Walken and one scene by Al Pacino.  They are each at their wacky, off-the-wall best.  Walken and Pacino almost make it worth sitting through the rest of the film, if you like them.  Lenny Venito also turned out a good performance.

If you have a crush on J-Lo or B-Aff, you might see enough of them to be happy.  Affleck poses without his shirt a few times, and tries to be cuddly, yet funny, yet tough, yet sensitive.  J-Lo has at least seven scenes that feature her signature ass (yes, the Masked Reviewer counted) though she remains fully clothed.  On the other hand, she does give a 10 minute speech about her special womanly region (ie her vagina) that was pretty nice. 

Gigli is rigli sigli. 


Expectation from the Title: A movie about a guy who can't stop giggling every time he hears the name Martin Brest.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Ben and Jen make such a cute couple.

The Pros: Walken and Pacino are brilliant.  J-Lo and B-Aff are cute and charming.

The Cons: Slow pacing, not very interesting, Affleck and Lopez are miscast. 

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