Trolling #33: Gigli RULES!

Cast your minds back, dear readers, all the way back to the dim and distant late summer of 2003. On August 1st (incidentally, my birthday), Martin Brest released a gangster comedy into theaters called Gigli (“It rhymes with ‘really,’” our hero would iterate). At the time, the world was growing a little tired of the enormous tabloid phenomenon then obnoxiously labeled “Bennifer.” The film’s two stars, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, were two rich, attractive showbiz people with nice skin and taut buttocks, whose well-moneyed relationship was better publicized than some wars. People hated them. A lot. People hated them more than they hated any other celebrity. If Hitler, New Coke, and Batman & Robin were somehow combined into a single amorphous being, it still wouldn’t be as hated as The Bennifer was in the summer of 2003.

And, as such, people loathed Martin Brest’s Gigli sight unseen. It was not a film so much as a further assault of the tabloid whirlwind humanity was then living through. What’s more, critics hated it, pretty unanimously rejecting it (it currently enjoys a paltry 6% on Rotten Tomatoes). Even the film’s defenders were apologists more than boosters. Gigli has officially reached legend status by 2014, often called one of the most loathsome films of all time. And yes, it is in the dubious pit of the IMDb’s Bottom 100.

Can it be that bad? Can Gigli really be the most horrid film of all time? Here at Trolling, it’s our job to re-examine both the beloved and the beloathed and to come up with contrary conclusions. Looking back at this legendary bomb reveals not only that it’s a pretty good film, but that – and we’ll just have to say it – Gigli RULES! Let’s run down a few reasons…  


I can’t say too much in defense of Justin Bartha’s mentally retarded character, the film is a little too long, and the ultimate climax kind of peters out, but no one can deny that Gigli isn’t something new. I admire any filmmaker who tries to make something unique, tries out a new kind of film dialogue, and who succeeds even moderately. Gigli was successful in those things. The film deserves a second viewing.

Until next week, let the hate mail flow.  

Witney Seibold is the head film critic for Nerdist, and a contributor on the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can read his weekly articles Trolling, and The Series Project, and follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.