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Film / Gigli

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Gigli (pronounced "jee-lee") is a romantic comedy film written and directed by Martin Brest, and starring Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. It's notable for the swift and drastic change in direction it underwent; originally written strictly as a Black Comedy, it was rewritten to cash in on the Affleck/Lopez romance (then a major media craze) at the behest of executives. It was released on August 1, 2003.

Low-level Los Angeles mob enforcer Larry Gigli (played by Affleck) is commanded to kidnap Brian (Justin Bartha in his film debut), the mentally impaired, Baywatch-obsessed brother of a district attorney trying to bring down a mob lord and hold him hostage. Gigli's boss doesn't think he'll be able to handle the kid alone, though, so he has assassin Ricki (Lopez) join him. Gigli is attracted to Ricki, but she turns out to be a lesbian and, as such, rebuffs him.

Much of the remaining film time comprises the three hanging around Gigli's apartment, receiving threatening phone calls and break-ins from Gigli's boss and the police, and occasionally venturing to locales such as an outdoor diner and hospital, with strong emphasis placed on the romance between Ricki and Gigli and some rather strange lines. Oh, and Christopher Walken being Christopher Walken.

Not to be confused with Gigi.


  • Ambiguously Bi: Larry's mother tells Larry and Ricki that she was quite experimental, much to Larry's disgust.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Larry gives one to Ricki in a car ride home after seeing her exchange amorous glances with her "close, personal" female friend.
    Larry: You know something? You're right. It is sadness. It's sadness and I'm fucking sad. You got me. You're a genius. You know why I'm fucking sad? Because I got this fucking, beautiful, sexy, gorgeous, heartthrob-o-rama, fucking smart, amazing bombshell, seventeen-on-a-fucking-ten-scale girl sleeping in a bed, right next to me. And you know what? She's a stone-cold dyke. A fucking untouchable, unhavable, unattainable brick wall fucking dykasaurus rexi. So it's sad, okay? What do you want me to do? I feel fucking sadness about that. There's nothing I can fucking do. And not only is she a major babe, but I really like this girl a lot. A lot. I mean, she's not like anybody else I ever knew before, and that's a completely fucking new one on me. And I don't even know her real fucking name so there you go. Oh and in case you're interested, my life sucks. All right? Stick a fork in me, I'm done!
  • Badass Boast: Larry delivers one to Ricki, proclaiming himself as the original gangster.
    Larry: If by some fuckin' miracle long shot you haven't heard of my reputation let me tell you who the fuck I am! I am the fuckin' Sultan of Slick, Sadie! I am the rule of fuckin' cool! You wanna be a gangster? You wanna be a thug? You sit at my fuckin' feet and gather the pearls that emanate forth from me! Because I'm the fuckin' original, straight-first-foremost, pimp-mack, fuckin hustler, original gangster's gangster!
  • Bloody Hilarious: A loving close-up of the fish in the aquarium eating pieces of Louis' brain.
  • Boom, Headshot!: When Starkman kills the lower-ranking Louis for his harebrained plan accomplishing nothing except drawing even more attention from the feds.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Zigzagged and most likely completely unintentional. Starkman shoots Louis clean through the head, as indicated by the blood splatter emitted from an exit wound, but the high-velocity bullet that achieved this somehow doesn't shatter the giant fishtank immediately behind Louis and doesn't make a complete mess of Starkman's mansion.
  • Bury Your Gays: Subverted. Ricki's ex Robin attempts suicide but survives and is hospitalized.
  • Butch Lesbian: Ricki's ex-girlfriend Robin, with a toned physical appearance and short haircut.
  • But Now I Must Go: Ricki to Larry, at the end. Though she changes her mind and they leave together.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Ricki bids goodbye to Larry only to change her mind and leave with him.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Larry, Louis, Ricki. Almost everyone curses, dropping the F-bomb more than once in almost every sentence. In fact, the F-bomb is used one hundred twenty-four times.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Brian when he sees Robin slitting her wrists in the apartment. "Lady, you need some band-aids."
  • Cure Your Gays: Ben Affleck is either a cure for lesbianism or an exception.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: This movie's dialogue has an unfortunate tendency to repeat itself ad nauseum.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Despite everything, Ricki feels she cannot give Larry what he wants and decides to leave. Subverted when Ricki changes her mind and returns for him.
  • Did Not Think This Through: As Starkman points out, all the crew accomplished by kidnapping Brian was bring even more federal prosecutors down on his head when he probably could have just beaten the charges on his own.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Ricki tells her to leave and that "they're over", Robin grabs a kitchen knife and slits her wrists.
  • Dude, She's A Lesbian: Larry's mother tells him that he and Ricki make a cute couple. He explains that Ricki is a lesbian.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Larry screws up his assignment, but he and Ricki get an opportunity to escape the mob business and start a new life, and Brian is allowed to go to the Baywatch-esque beach and connect with an Australian girl before he has to go back to the home.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Larry does this when he first meets Ricki as she's wearing a top that bares her midriff and curve-hugging pants.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: This is implied to be the case with Starkman's syndicate, since nobody seems to find it odd that they're willing to employ an openly gay woman.
  • Eye Scream: At one point, Ricki threatens some louts with the prospect of ripping out their eyes in a way that removes the part of the brain responsible for visual memory.
  • Fan Disservice: Normally, J-Lo lying on a bed seductively works. But then she says, "It's turkey time. Gobble, gobble" and the mood dies.
  • Finger in the Mail: Louis orders Larry and Ricki to send the DA one of Brian's thumbs. However, they find themselves unable to go through with it, so they break into a hospital morgue, cut a thumb off a random corpse, and send that to the DA, instead. Their plan, of course, backfires when the authorities receiving the digit are able to identify the thumbprint and confirm it's not Brian's, which infuriates Mr. Starkman.
  • Gayngst: Ricki thinks Larry suffers this as he is always angry and he checks his fingernails in a "feminine way". She is wrong. Turns out, it's because he is far-sighted.
  • Gayngster: Ricki; a female Gayngster, for a change. She is a lesbian, but that doesn't soften her up as she's also a trained assassin who is always threatening others with death and violence such as eye-gouging.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Larry gets jealous when he sees Ricki and the female mail store clerk exchanging looks, prompting his Anguished Declaration of Love at her in the car.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: This might be the case with Larry and Ricki. At first, Larry developed a crush on Ricki, only to be disappointed when he finds out she's a lesbian. Then Ricki decides to give Larry a chance anyway after his Anguished Declaration of Love and they sleep together. Despite Larry being a man and Ricki being a lesbian, they still enter into a "special" relationship.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Gigli is attracted to Ricki, but she initially rebuffs him due to being a lesbian.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Brian is a Type C, who is always wanting to go to "the Baywatch".
  • Large Ham: Al Pacino's Mr. Starkman, who is raising his voice every time he opens his mouth, up and to the point where he is screaming his words in Larry's face and shouting at Louis' corpse. Even punctuating his words for emphasis.
    Starkman: [continuing, growing angrier] You didn't think all hell wouldn't break loose? You didn't think every fucking fed wouldn't drop what they were doing and DIVE in to protect one of their own? What do you morons think, that this is little Italy? Wake up! THIS IS THE TWENTY-FUCKIN'-FIRST CENTURY!
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Ricki, with a more feminine appearance in comparison to her ex-girlfriend Robin.
  • Longing Look: In the mailing store, Larry looks at Ricki while Ricki looks at something funny Brian is doing. Also, Ricki shares one over and over with the female mail store clerk she's "close, personal" with.
  • Love Triangle: A brief one between Robin/Ricki/Larry.
  • Magic Bullets: Either this, or that's one sturdy aquarium behind Louis when Starkman shoots him.
  • Misplaced Accent: Despite living in L.A., Larry Gigli talks with a New York accent.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: Take a look at the page image. Instead of the names being placed underneath their respective actors correctly, each is instead placed by the other's gender.
  • Modesty Towel: Ricki wears one during the scene where her ex Robin bursts into the apartment, and seeing Ricki in just a towel solidifies her belief that Ricki and Larry are being intimate.
  • Mood Whiplash: The film's tone changes numerous times at the drop of a hat, perhaps most noticeably with a lighthearted scene with one of Ricki's ex-girlfriends ... who slits her wrists in front of her and Larry after a minute or so.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Ricki doing some very flexible sweaty yoga, and also a brief shot of her Toplessness from the Back as she's taking a steamy shower.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The film's trailer makes it look more fun and silly than it is despite its serious mobster gang business material. It also gives first-time viewers the wrong impression that Jennifer Lopez's character is supposed to be the titular lead Gigli. See Misplaced-Names Poster.
  • No Bisexuals: Ricki is a 'lesbian' who has been with men (and does not refer to it as unpleasant, or a mistake) and falls for a heterosexual man working in the same field. When Ricki's ex Robin shows up looking for her and finds her with Larry, she thinks that Ricki has 'turned' straight and accuses her of switching orientation. As such, Gigli is not the first movie in which Ben Affleck plays a man who wins over a 'lesbian' colleague.
  • No Indoor Voice: Mr. Starkman's way of speaking involves mostly yelling every few words.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Ricki's Psycho Ex-Girlfriend Robin shows up, she gets into a fight with Larry thinking that Ricki changed sexual orientation and he and Ricki are a thing now. Larry tells her no. Then Ricki walks into the room wearing a Modesty Towel (from showering) and things only get worse from there.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: The breakfast Larry feeds Brian before he leaves is a frosted flakes breakfast cereal topped with Chips Ahoy cookies inside the bowl.
  • Oh, Crap!
    • Gigli and Ricki's reaction when Starkman shoots and kills Louis in front of them.
    • Ricki, when her ex Robin shows up looking for her.
    • Gigli and Ricki's reaction when her ex Robin attempts suicide.
  • Only Sane Man: Gigli feels he is this during all the drama going on around him (when Ricki takes a suicidal Robin to the hospital).
    Larry Gigli: Must be f—king mental illness week.
  • Poor Man's Porn: Brian ejaculates whenever he watches Baywatch.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Starkman to Louis before he puts a bullet through his head.
    Starkman: You wanna go to medical school?
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Robin, who shows up at Larry's door, threatening him and demanding that her ex Ricki dump Larry and be with her. When Ricki refuses, Robin then attempts to kill herself, frightening Larry and Ricki.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Ricki's ex-girlfriend Robin. She turns up at Larry's door, demands that Ricki take her back and when Ricki refuses, Robin slits her wrists.
  • Ready For Love Making: Ricki lying seductively on a bed and saying the infamous line to Larry: "It's turkey time. Gobble gobble."
  • Running Gag:
    • Everybody not related to the protagonist thinks his surname is pronounced "Jiggly".
    • "Ricki" not being Ricki's real name.
    • Gigli having to remind people that Ricki is a lesbian when they're mistaken for a couple.
  • Shipper on Deck: Larry's mother thinks he and Ricki would make a great couple even though she's a lesbian.
  • Smug Snake: Larry Gigli, so very much. He lies a lot on the job and he doesn't even do that very well, prompting his boss to send in "professional help," i.e., Ricki.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: At first, Larry attempts to seduce Ricki, only to be told that he "isn't her type" and that she is a lesbian.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • A lengthy reflection on human sexuality by Ricki in which she compares the penis to a sea slug or a really long toe and the vagina to a human mouth is accompanied by a soft, mellow, romantic guitar ballad.
    • There's also Ricki giving a speech about killing Brian, with lighthearted folk guitar playing in the background.
    • As Larry drives Ricki and Brian by a beach, the latter says, "I think that's where the sex is," and a somber chord plays behind him.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Robin, who is still enamored with her ex-girlfriend Ricki even though they've broken up and manages to track down her location at Larry's apartment.
  • Stalking Is Love: Robin outright says she is stalking her ex Ricki because she still loves her and wants her back.
  • Straight Gay: Ricki is a lesbian but she doesn't really look it. And when Larry's mother starts shipping them together, Larry has to tell his mother that he and Ricki couldn't make a cute couple together because she's a lesbian, much to her surprise.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: Larry gets into Brian's group home with no apparent trouble. Later, they both get into a hospital's morgue and a film shoot as easily.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Larry and Ricki have to share one bed since it's a one-bedroom apartment. He also jumps at the opportunity to try to seduce her, only for her to tell him she's gay.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: Robin tries to invoke this on Larry and Ricki but it doesn't work.
  • To the Pain: At one point, Ricki intimidates a group of delinquents by threatening to tear out their eyes in a way that causes brain damage, specifically making them forget things they see.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Ricki is Hispanic and a lesbian.
  • Villain Protagonist: Gigli himself, until he changes his attitude at the very end of the film.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Larry Gigli is an egotistical meathead and Ricki is a lesbian.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Ricki reveals to Larry her real name is Rochelle.
  • You Have Failed Me: Since Louis' plan accomplishes absolutely nothing except drawing even more attention from the feds, Starkman shoots him in the head.