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Theatrical poster
Directed by Martin Brest
Produced by John Hardy
Casey Silver
Martin Brest
Written by Martin Brest
Starring Ben Affleck
Jennifer Lopez
Justin Bartha
Al Pacino
Lainie Kazan
Music by John Powell
Cinematography Robert Elswit
Editing by Julie Monroe
Billy Weber
Studio Revolution Studios
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) August 1, 2003 (2003-08-01)
Running time 121 minutes
Language English
Budget $54 million[1]
Gross revenue $7,266,209[2]

Gigli (pronounced /ˈdʒiːli/) is a 2003 film which was written and directed by Martin Brest, starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Lainie Kazan. Its title is an homage to Nick Gigli, a minor character from John Dos Passos's U.S.A. trilogy. The film was highly anticipated because Affleck and Lopez, the film's stars, were romantically involved at the time. However, the critical reception of the film was extremely poor and the film gained the reputation of being among the worst movies ever made.



Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) is a low-ranking mobster who is commanded to kidnap the mentally challenged, Baywatch-obsessed younger brother (Justin Bartha) of a powerful federal prosecutor to save his mobster boss from prison. Gigli successfully convinces the young man, Brian, to go off with him by promising to take him "to the Baywatch." However, Gigli's boss, Louis (Lenny Venito), does not trust him; he hires a woman calling herself Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) to take over the job.

Although Gigli is attracted to Ricki, he resents the fact that Louis does not have faith in him and that he has to take orders from Ricki. He is also frustrated by Brian's insistence on going to "the Baywatch" and by Ricki's lesbianism. The events take a darker turn when Larry and Ricki receive orders to cut off Brian's thumb, something neither of them wants to do.

Ricki's girlfriend (Missy Crider) shows up at Gigli's apartment, accusing her of cheating. She slits a wrist and has to be rushed to the hospital. While at the hospital, Gigli goes to the morgue and cuts off a corpse's thumb, which he sends to his boss as Brian's thumb. Gigli and Ricki go back to his apartment and Gigli confesses his love, leading to a sexual encounter between them.

Afterwards, they are called to meet with the mob's boss. Starkman (Al Pacino) reveals that he didn't approve of the plan to kidnap a federal prosecutor's brother and scolds them because the thumb they sent won't match Brian's fingerprint. He fatally shoots Gigli's superior Louis. Starkman is about to kill Ricki and Gigli as well, but Ricki talks him out of it. They decide to take Brian back to where they found him. On the way, they discover Baywatch shooting an episode on the beach and leave a happy Brian there.


The movie was considered a bomb, often called the worst movie of 2003, grossing less than $4 million in its opening weekend after costing $54 million to make. It earned nearly universally negative reviews and scored only a 6% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 157 reviews, with comments like: "Bizarre and clumsily plotted, Gigli is a mess. As for its stars, Affleck and Lopez lack chemistry."[3] It scored an 18% on Metacritic based on 37 reviews, meaning "extreme dislike or disgust".[4] It also scored only an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes' "Cream of the Crop" section, a three among notable critics at Rotten Tomatoes and a 2.3 among Metacritic's users. Gigli also set a record for the biggest second-weekend drop in box office gross of any film in wide release since that statistic was kept; it dropped by almost 82 percent in its second weekend compared to its first.[5] By its third weekend in release, only 73 U.S. theaters were showing it, down from 2,215 during its first weekend, a drop of 97 percent.

On the show Ebert and Roeper, critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper both gave the film thumbs down, although Ebert showed some sympathy towards the film, stating it had "clever dialogue", but was "... too disorganized for me to recommend it." Roeper called the film "a disaster" and "one of the worst movies I've ever seen". He then included Gigli on his 100 worst movies of the decade at #7.

Its title was named by the Global Language Monitor as one of the top words from Hollywood having an impact on the English language in 2003.[6] Late night talk show hosts in particular lampooned the film in their monologues; Conan O'Brien said "The Mets are doing so badly that they will be renamed 'The New York Gigli.'" The film was withdrawn from U.S. theatres after only three weeks (one of the shortest circulation times for a big-budget movie), earning a total of only $6 million domestically and $1 million abroad. In the UK, the movie was dropped by virtually every cinema after critics panned it.

The film received six Razzies in the 2003 Golden Raspberry Awards – Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple. For a film to win the "Academy Awards grand slam", it must win the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Writing, Screenplay. Conversely, winning those awards' Razzie counterparts makes Gigli the only film ever to perform the "Razzie grand slam". A year later, the film won a seventh Razzie for "Worst Comedy of Our First 25 Years."

Currently, Yahoo! Movies rates Gigli number one on their Bottom Rated Movies of All Time,[7] with a critics rating of D−.[8] The Onion, a satirical newspaper, ran an article about the film, titled "Gigli focus groups demand new ending in which Affleck and Lopez die."[9] Roger Ebert and James Berardinelli, while panning the film, were two of the very few critics to not write it off completely.[10] Ebert ranked the film with two and a half stars, saying, "They didn't quite get to where they wanted to be, but the film is worth seeing for some very good scenes." Berardinelli ranked the film with two stars, saying, "This isn't a good film, but, when set alongside the likes of Dumb and Dumberer and Legally Blonde 2, Jen & Ben offer less pain." A rare positive, as opposed to less negative, review came from Amy Dawes of Variety. She wrote that the story was ludicrous and that the film would tank, but that on balance she found it a fun film with several good performances.[11] Her review was the only positive one out of 37 reviews from notable critics according to Rotten Tomatoes. Although hers was the only positive one on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert's was the highest rated on Metacritic. Perhaps the only element of the film that received any noticeable positive attention was Justin Bartha's performance as the mentally handicapped younger brother. Even some of the critics who were completely panning the film gave a sliver of positivity when mentioning Bartha's performance, although others (particularly Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper) found the character manipulative and derivative of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.[12] Nonetheless, his performance did nothing to overshadow the film's nearly unanimous bad reviews.

Its infamy has made it into the music world also, as in "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Virus Alert" the lyrics mention that the computer virus featured in the story will "make your TV record Gigli". In the flash animated video, children are shown crying as they have just seen the movie on TV. Internet comedian Brock Baker made a video called Christopher Rappen, featuring a rapping Christopher Walken, and stated that he was in "a lot of award winning flicks, but sometimes you just gotta balance it out with the shit", before referencing films starring Walken that bombed at the box office and/or received negative reviews from critics, including Gigli.[13]

See also


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