Gigli (2003) (part 3 of 8)
(Random Note: In a bizarre coincidence, this is only the second film I’ve seen starring Jennifer Lopez, the first being Anaconda!)
Abruptly, Ricki takes a turn for the nasty, saying, “You know, I’d heard you were a bit of a fuck-up. But I gotta tell you; I’m frankly amazed at how much of a fuck-up you actually are.” Translation: “You know, I’d heard about Armageddon, Forces of Nature and Daredevil. But I gotta tell you; I’m frankly amazed at how much you suck at picking scripts.”
Gigli, obviously confused, asks, “Am I missing something here?” Apart from a brain? Ricki tells him to call Louis, and he’ll explain the situation. Gigli denies knowing Louis, which is a stupid action to say the least, since it’s pretty obvious that Ricki knows about the whole scheme.
She goes on to reveal that Louis didn’t think Gigli was competent enough to keep Brian there by himself. Not without reason, actually, as so far Gigli has proven himself to have the intelligence of my pet mice. (Crap, I hope they didn’t hear me write that!)
According to Ricki, Louis decided he’d “feel more comfortable if there was two independent, unacquainted, perhaps even mutually hostile contractors working on this so they can keep an eye on one another.” Huh?! So, he thought that instead of just having Gigli watch this retard by himself (which shouldn’t have been a particularly hard task, especially if he’d bothered to restrain him or subdue him like Jason suggested), it’d be a better idea to have another person watching both Gigli and Brian (and vice-versa)? And if they end up blowing each other’s brains out, isn’t that going to be a little, well, counterproductive? (Sorry if I got your hopes up, folks. Nothing like that ever happens in this movie—at least not to the two of them. It raises a point, though: Why do we never see either of them with a gun, or any weapon for that matter?)
Cut to Louis back outside the sidewalk café, and his cell phone rings. He answers it, and for some reason Louis finds it necessary to wait about five seconds before speaking. But hey, he’s the one paying! Gigli mentions Ricki, so Louis informs him that the job was “certainly too big for a big jerk-off like you, but I had no choice!” Why? Were there really no other laid-back thugs he could hire? Scratch that. He managed to hire Ricki, who seems (comparatively) competent, so why did he even need Gigli to begin with?
Louis promises to “personally excoriate anyone responsible for the tiniest fuck-up in this action.” He says he’s learning a new word a day, and “excoriate” means “to strip or wear off the skin of”. Oddly enough, that definition almost exactly matches the one listed on Dictionary.com. And according to the thesaurus in Microsoft Word, it also means “attack”, “condemn”, and “berate”. So, it’s pretty fair to say that the critics excoriated Gigli upon its release!
Louis threatens that he actually means that (which sounds too good to be true, and it is), and then hangs up. In spite of the fact that he hangs up his cell phone somewhat loudly, Gigli fails to realize this, and carries on talking for a few more seconds before putting the phone down.
Ricki approaches and mentions that neither she nor Louis know each other, which I guess means he must have hired her through some third party. Then she states that her “reputation is pretty solid”. Yep, few actresses have a more solid reputation for uninspiring, uninteresting performances.
She tells Gigli to “get himself straight” (this could be a sly reference to what happens later on, but the movie never otherwise displays that kind of cleverness), and asks him if he has any decaffeinated or herbal tea. This causes Gigli to fly into a rage. Not because he doesn’t like herbal tea, but because he doesn’t want to take orders from her.
Gigli yells, “If by some fucking miracle long shot you haven’t heard of my reputation, let me tell you who the fuck I am!” Don’t need to, Ben! Pearl Harbor, Reindeer Games, The Sum of All Fears (okay, the last one isn’t too bad, but Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan? Geez, give me Alec Baldwin or Harrison Ford any day)? We’re already pretty familiar with who you are already.
He says, “I am the fucking sultan of slick, Sadie!” Er… “I am the rule of fucking cool.” If you say so, Jiggly… er, Jee-lee.
“You wanna be a gangster, you wanna be a thug? You sit at my fucking feet! Gather the pearls that emanate forth from me!” Okay, I won’t even go into the implications of that.
“Because I’m the fucking original, straight-first-foremost, pimp-mack, fuckin’ hustler, original gangster’s gangster!” … I really don’t know what to say to that. Just what the hell is this guy going on about? It sounds like Ali G trying (and failing) to do an impression of a gangster.
Also, in case you didn’t notice, there’s been eleven usages of the work “fuck” between the start of my section and the end of Gigli’s little rant. Apparently, Brest thought that the reason Pulp Fiction was popular wasn’t because of anything silly like a good plot or good acting, but because of the generous amount of swear words.
Ricki isn’t impressed by that tirade. She smiles and quickly says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I’m gonna get my stuff.” This is one of the few funny moments in the movie, but I don’t think it worked in quite the way Brest intended.
|Listen to why Ben Affleck is the Sultan of Slick! (MP3 clip)|
As she walks out, Brian blurts out, “How many cups of your own spit do you think you swallow every day, Larry? I think about 35 cups.” Firstly, I wouldn’t imagine it’s too many, since most of it has probably been used by Ben to spit on paying audiences. Secondly, is that supposed to be funny? Sure, unexpected stuff can be comedy sometimes. But showing the Goatse picture (if you don’t know, don’t ask) in a movie would be unexpected, and most certainly would not be funny.
Gigli tells him to “act fucking normal for a minute”, echoing the thoughts of what little audience was left in the theater by this point. Brian responds by calling him an idiot. Took you long enough to figure that out, Brian! Gigli responds, “What, you just go in and out?” [?] Frankly, I don’t think Brian’s been getting too much of “the old in and out” myself. Brian calls him an idiot again. Gigli asks, “What the fuck are you talking about?” Brian replies, “You’re the fuck, you stupid duck-fuck!” Ugh, there’s enough sexual implications in my section alone without bringing bestiality into it, thank you very much!
More insults (mostly unintelligible) ensue. This culminates in Gigli slapping Brian around. Again, I honestly don’t know why he didn’t use chloroform or something to knock Brian out. I mean, won’t Brian be able to, oh I don’t know, identify them later?
On cue, Ricki walks back in and yells at Gigli to stop, so he flies into another tantrum. She tells him, “Leave him alone, or I’ll kill you.” So, in just over four minutes we’ve had three arguments, and now a death threat. Yep, your plan’s shaping up really nicely, Louis! For a good example of this movie’s repetitious dialogue, have a look at this:
| Gigli: Don’t tell me what we’re supposed to do!
Ricki: How about this? You leave him alone or I’ll kill you.
Gigli: You’ll kill me? Fuck you, go ahead!
Ricki: I’ll kill you.
Gigli: You don’t tell me what to do, okay? Don’t tell me what we might do, don’t tell me what we’re supposed to do, don’t tell me what we maybe should do, don’t ever tell me nothing!
Ricki: I’ll tell you this. You leave him alone or I’ll kill you.
All in all, a good example of repetitious dialogue. In case you didn’t count, there were six instances of “don’t tell me what to do” and four instances of “I’ll kill you”, including two lines that were almost exactly the same. You know, Brest just might have been trying to pad the movie out a little bit. Still, it’s better than having every actor/actress do an impression of William Shatner (cough Meet Joe Black cough).
Finally, Brian breaks us out of this seemingly infinite loop of dialogue by… repeating an earlier line. “I’m gonna say 35 cups.” With the tension thus defused, Ricki suggests they “try and make this pleasant”. Sorry, but I think the movie’s gone a bit beyond that now.
Later on, the three are having dinner, and Gigli asks Ricki what she “normally hires out for”. About $9m for The Wedding Planner and Angel Eyes, according to the IMDb. Mind you, that’s not including the cost of completely redecorating her trailer because the curtains were the wrong shade of pink.
“I do jobs of various types,” she replies. More repetition follows: “I do various types of jobs of various kinds.” Gigli asks, “How come I’ve never seen you around before?” I dunno, she seems pretty, uh, “round” to me! “I’m from another place”, she replies. Mars, I assume, as acting appears to be an alien concept to her.
She goes on to reveal that her name isn’t really Ricki. This sets up a hugely annoying plot arc wherein Gigli tries to find out Ricki’s real name for the rest of the damn movie. Trouble is, we don’t care about it, and there’s no real reason for Gigli to really care about it either. Nevertheless, he demands to know, and Ricki just stays silent. He says, “Then how about I keep calling you Ricki just to piss you off?” I’m sure that’s going to piss her off a great deal, after she’s been calling herself that for several hours.
Brian starts complaining about his food, eventually causing Gigli to (surprise, surprise) get annoyed and yell at him. “Back off!” retorts Ricki. “God, it’s not his fault!” Hey, he read the screenplay beforehand, he knew what he was getting into.
“It’s not my fault I’m brain damaged!” replies Martin Brest. Brian, I mean. Ricki tries to argue more, but is cut off by Gigli, who offers these words of wisdom.
|Gigli: In every relationship, there’s a bull and a cow. It just so happens that in this relationship, right here with me and you, I’m the bull, you’re the cow. Alright? [Points to self] Bull. [Points to Ricki] Cow.|
I have nothing to add. Seriously, there’s nothing I can say or do to ridicule that line any more than it already ridicules itself.
Brian starts moaning again that he wants to go home. If Gigli and Ricki didn’t have enough reason to anesthetize him before, they certainly do now.
Instead, Gigli asks, “How are you going to go to the Baywatch tomorrow if you go home?” I don’t think Brian cares about it much by this point. I think he just wants out of the movie while he can still claim his role was only a cameo (not that “only” having cameos in this movie helped a certain pair of Oscar-winning actors, as we’ll see later). Still, this shuts Brian up for the time being.
Even later, Gigli puts a bed sheet on his couch for Brian to sleep on. Once settled in, Brian demands that Gigli read to him, because it soothes him. For some reason, instead of doing it as quickly as possible so as to shut him up, Gigli moans about having to do it for a while. Ricki says to read him a book, but shock of shocks, Gigli doesn’t own a single book.
Eventually, Gigli decides to read Brian the label on a bottle of Tabasco sauce [!]. Why someone would keep a bottle of Tabasco sauce on the sofa is never addressed, but this satisfies Brian. You know, because being constantly reminded that he’s a retard for the last twenty minutes wasn’t enough.
Ricki decides to make her bed on the floor with a bamboo mat. Seeing her reverse cleavage, Gigli remarks, “You don’t look like any contractor I’ve ever met.” Presumably, the ones he’s used to meeting can be bothered to make sure their pants aren’t falling down.
“Apparently there’s a need for all types,” she replies. Even stupid ones, such as the one facing you? Predictably, Gigli offers to share his bed with Ricki, but “professionally”. Hmm… sleeping with someone… in a professional capacity? They have a word for that, and it’s not contracting.
Ricki is apparently dumb enough to believe this, because we next see her in his bed reading. Why Gigli needs a huge double bed if he lives by himself isn’t dwelled on. Meanwhile, Gigli poses in the bathroom mirror, mumbling about the Bull and the Cow, and at one point mentions, “You fuck with the Bull, you get the horn!” You know, I think that might have been a sexual reference. He really goes off in this scene, even picking up a barbell and contorting his face into every idiotic facial expression imaginable.
Gigli enters the bedroom wearing a red silk robe, and cheesy “romantic” music starts. He climbs into bed, sidles over to Ricki, and in a rather unsubtle way starts making the moves on her. She tells him, “This would be a good time to suggest that you not allow the seeds of cruel hope to sprout in your soul.” In other words, don’t start thinking that you’re going to survive the 2004 Razzies unscathed.
Grinning, Gigli replies, “I don’t know what that means, but it sounds beautiful!” This reinforces my belief that Martin Brest ordered Affleck to base his portrayal of Gigli on Rocky Balboa. While there’s worse people you could rip off, if you’re gonna rip off an American Badass™ like Rocky, it’s best not to do it in a crap movie.
“It means you’re not my type,” Ricki says. Gigli asks, “What about me is not your type?” To which Ricki replies, “Your penis.” Gigli doesn’t seem too bothered that Ricki has apparently just slurred his manhood (well, that’s what it sounded like to me, at least), and asks her what she means. She informs him (several months after the rest of us figured it out) that she’s a lesbian. The cheesy romantic music instantly dies down. I guess we should just be thankful they didn’t do it with a “needle scratching on a record” noise.
The whole “Ricki is a lesbian” plot angle is massively flawed, to say the least. You typically don’t cast hot leads opposite each other without having them make out at some point in the movie, so it’s pretty much a given that Ricki’s gonna turn straight sooner or later. Furthermore, aside from making Gigli (annoyingly) sexually frustrated, the lesbian angle serves absolutely no purpose to the plot (save for a later scene, but that serves no purpose, either). For all it’s worth, she might as well just be a frigid bitch. More to the point, if she’s truly a lesbian, why was she so agreeable to sharing Gigli’s bed? That’d be kind of like me agreeing to share a bed with Big Gay Al!
“But I gotta tell you,” she says, “If I wasn’t, I mean after a first date like this, I’d find it really hard not to get under the covers and do you big time right now. Good night.” She then goes to sleep. In a better movie, this would probably be seen as Ricki teasing and/or mocking Gigli for his clumsy sexual advances. In this movie, however, we don’t know if that’s really the case, or if she’s simply telling the truth. If it’s the latter (and I have a feeling it is), then it makes no sense. Let me put it this way: I doubt I’d be overly qualified to comment on how much I’d want to sleep with a gay man.
The next morning, we see Brian holding the phone. He hits a few buttons, and then we hear an Australian-accented voice describing the Melbourne weather forecast. Thing is, Brian only hit five buttons on the phone. I personally don’t know how the phone system works in America, but I’d have thought you’d need a lot more than just five button presses to reach Australia!
On cue, Gigli walks past, and in a panic he snatches the phone away from Brian, somehow hurting him in the process. Then Gigli carries on listening to the Melbourne weather forecast for like, another half a minute before hanging up.
So, let me see if I have this straight. Gigli (and Ricki) not only didn’t knock Brian out, didn’t lock him up, didn’t restrain him, but they also didn’t bother to use the phone’s handset lock? I know Brian is too stupid to know what’s going on, but imagine if he decided to just call his brother and see how he was doing? There goes the whole operation!
Gigli berates Brian, citing the costs (like you’re one to talk, you sat there listening to it for another thirty seconds), and then gives the phone right back to Brian! Jesus B. Demented! What goes on (or more precisely, doesn’t go on) in this guy’s head? How did he ever get hired by Louis to begin with? Mind you, Louis was discussing criminal activities on a busy sidewalk in broad daylight, so let’s not overestimate his intelligence, either.
Gigli then walks over to Ricki in the living room and tells her, “Just wanted to tell you, you know, just get straight over that whole thing last night.” Did Brest even bother to proofread that line? It could very easily be taken in another way to what Gigli meant.
“You know,” he continues, “No hard feelings.” I dunno, Gigli, you looked like you were getting a few (wink wink) hard feelings (nudge nudge) to me. “You know, I don’t want you to get upset or nothing!” Yeah, no point getting upset now. Just wait until the reviews come in!
“That’s it,” he says. “Don’t be coming back though. It’s a one-time offer. One shot with me, I’m out!” Hmm… how long do you think it’ll be before Gigli forgets he said that?
As soon as he finishes, someone knocks on the door. Because this is a movie, after all, and no one ever interrupts someone else when they knock on the door.