This week Jennifer Lopez (or JLo, as she likes me to call her) stars in The Boy Next Door; which is a psychological thriller about a teacher who has “relations” with a student who moves in, where else, next door. When he becomes obsessed with her, his actions jeopardize her job, family, and safety. From the trailer, the movie doesn’t look too shabby and somewhat follows the same lines of Fatal Attraction or Fear and so far has decent ratings. But before JLo was making boys sing ‘Hot for teacher’ in The Boy Next Door, she was in a steaming pile of shit know as Gigli.
Going into this, I had honestly not seen Gigli but only heard legendary tales of it’s awfulness. I wanted to keep an open mind about it and be completely objective and not let anyone’s comments or amateur reviews sway my feelings towards it. So, I drank a couple of beers before watching it. I should have drunk more. At just over 2hrs long, my first thought was my 6 pack wasn’t going to be enough. Second thought was I hope nobody catches me watching this by myself.
It doesn’t start out that bad. In fact I was fairly optimistic and wondered if I was going to be the one person to like Gigli and if I was a strong enough person to admit it. After the honeymoon phase was over with the passing of 3 minutes, I then knew that I would not be the chosen one and that I can confidently go about my life.
One thing that really confused/pissed me off was the fact that the film’s Italian mob presence was set in the middle of Beverly Hills. Why?! In the movie, Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) apparently was born and raised in Los Angeles and dressed and talked like he were Christopher Moltisanti from The Sopranos when he probably would have dressed and talked more like Jesse from Dude, Where’s My Car. Why base the movie in Los Angeles? My only guess is the director just got an iPhone and wanted to shoot the whole movie using it over the span of a weekend and had some sort of vendetta against Ben Affleck and wanted to put his career to sleep for a few years. But that’s only speculation.
Gigli does tease the viewers with a moment of hope when Christopher Walken makes a 3-4 minute appearance then disappears into the blackhole that is the storyline. Hope springs again when Al Pacino shows up as, what I am guessing, some sort of crime boss and actually gives a pretty legit performance. But these two scenes make up for about 8-10 minutes of the movie. The rest is pathetic fake accents, awkward sexual moments between Affleck and JLo, and unnecessary use of mentally disabled people and characters that have no impact on the storyline or film whatsoever. The best acting (besides Walken and Pacino) was by JLo’s camel toe that appears during a conversation that her and Larry Gigli are having while she goes through several Yoga poses while talking about sex.
Gigli tried to fit so many things into its 2hrs (attempting to make it funny and entertaining) but ended up not being able to fully develop anything but a perfect turd. Tell me if this sounds like too much: Mafia hitman with no friends and unhappy about his life (Larry Gigli), a federal court case, a “slow” brother, a straight woman turned lesbian turned straight again (JLo), an unhinged mafia boss (Pacino), a federal agent trying to find the “slow” brother (Walken), questions about the sexuality of the mafia hitman, Baywatch, a “slow” brother’s coming of age, JLo and Affleck flirting for 100 minutes, accents that seem to change from New York to normal, and a camel toe. Actually, that honestly sums up the ENTIRE movie. You just got more storyline out of that last run-on sentence than you would by watching 2hrs of Gigli.
Bottomline: Do not watch this movie unless you want to be utterly confused and frustrated. Or if you want to get that feeling of embarrassment that you get when you see someone doing something that they are really awkward or bad at. Or when you catch someone picking their nose at a stoplight. Because that is exactly how I felt. Like I just caught Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez picking their nose at a stoplight and felt embarrassed for them.
Pick a winner.