Gigli (/ˈli/ JEE-lee) is a 2003 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Martin Brest and starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Lainie Kazan.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byMartin Brest
Produced by
Written byMartin Brest
Music byJohn Powell
CinematographyRobert Elswit
Edited by
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • August 1, 2003 (2003-08-01)
Running time
121 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$75.6 million[2]
Box office$7.3 million[3]

Popular media gave attention and interest to the film during production, primarily because Affleck and Lopez, the film's stars, were romantically involved at the time. After release, however, critical reaction was universally negative, and in the years since its release Gigli has been considered one of the worst films of all time. The film was also one of the most expensive box office bombs in history, grossing $7.2 million against a $75.6 million budget. As of 2019, it is the last film Brest has directed, making it his longest hiatus between projects.


Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) is a low-ranking Los Angeles mobster who is not nearly as tough as he likes to act. Louis (Lenny Venito), a higher-ranking member of Gigli's organization, commands Gigli to kidnap the mentally challenged younger brother of a powerful federal prosecutor to use as a bargaining chip to save New York-based mob boss Starkman (Al Pacino) from prison. Gigli successfully convinces the young man, Brian (Justin Bartha), to go off with him by promising to take him "to the Baywatch", apparently a reference to the television show of that name, which seems to be Brian's singular obsession. Louis does not trust Gigli to get the job done right, so he hires a woman calling herself Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) to take charge.

Gigli is attracted to Ricki, but he resents both Louis' lack of faith in him and having to take orders from a woman. He is also frustrated by Brian's insistence on going to "the Baywatch" and by the fact that Ricki is a lesbian. A suspicious detective (Christopher Walken) comes to the apartment to question Gigli in reference to Brian's disappearance. Gigli is further annoyed when his mother (Lainie Kazan) takes an immediate liking to Ricki and when the two women team up to needle him.

The events take a darker turn when Gigli and Ricki receive orders to cut off Brian's thumb, something that neither wants to do. Worse, Ricki's ex-girlfriend, Robin (Missy Crider), shows up at Gigli's apartment, accusing Ricki of changing sexual orientation and attempting suicide by slitting her wrists and is rushed to the hospital, where she thankfully survives. While there, Gigli sneaks into the morgue and cuts off a corpse's thumb, which he sends to the prosecutor as Brian's thumb. Gigli and Ricki go back to Gigli's apartment, where Gigli confesses his love and the two sleep together.

They are summoned to meet with the mob's boss. Starkman reveals that he did not approve of the plan to kidnap a federal prosecutor's brother or the order to cut off Brian's thumb. He nevertheless rages at them because the thumb they sent didn't match Brian's fingerprint, and therefore not only failed to increase pressure on the prosecutor but even undermined the organization's credibility. Starkman then kills Louis, presumably in retaliation for the kidnapping and associated scrutiny by law enforcement. Starkman is about to kill Ricki and Gigli as well, but Ricki talks him out of it by pointing out that only they know where Brian is and only they can silence Brian and prevent him from revealing the involvement of Starkman's organization in the kidnapping or even accusing Starkman of having been personally involved. They leave Starkman's, decide to leave the mob, and discuss taking Brian back to where they found him. On the way, they discover Baywatch (or a similarly themed show or film) shooting an episode on the beach. Brian begs to be let off there and finally they consent.

Gigli convinces Ricki to take his car to escape to parts unknown; but at the last minute, Ricki returns to pick up Gigli, and they leave town together.



Halle Berry was invited as the female lead before dropping due to scheduling conflicts with X2, being replaced with Jennifer Lopez, who signed in late 2001 for a reported $12 million.[4]

The original ending featured Gigli being killed, but after negative response to a test screening, the ending was reshot and reedited.[5][6]

Release and reception

Critical reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 6% based on 185 reviews with an average rating of 2.77/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Bizarre and clumsily plotted, Gigli is a mess. As for its stars, Affleck and Lopez lack chemistry."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 18 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".[8] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D–" on an A+ to F scale.[9]

On 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 films of the decade at #7.[10]

Ebert and James Berardinelli were two of the very few major critics to not write it off completely.[11] Ebert gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "They didn't quite get to where they wanted to be, but the film is worth seeing for some very good scenes." Berardinelli gave it 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."[12]

Joel Siegel of Good Morning America awarded the film with a "D" rating and stated in his review "To qualify as a historic failure, a film needs a measure of pretension and all Gigli ever wanted to be was a romantic comedy. What it is is a dreadful romantic comedy." [13]

Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman gave the film a "C+", stating "A watchable bad movie, but it's far from your typical cookie-cutter blockbuster. There are no shoot-outs or car chases, and there isn't much romantic suspense, either."[14]

One of the few positive reviews came from Amy Dawes of Variety, who 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.[15]

Box office

Gigli grossed $3,753,518 in its opening weekend from 2,215 theaters averaging $1,694 per theater and ranking #8 at the box office. The negative response led the studio to pull the advertisement for the film and replace them with another of their releases, Bad Boys II.[16] The film set a record to date for the biggest second-weekend drop in box office gross of any film in wide release since that statistic was kept; it dropped by 81.9% in its second weekend compared to its first, grossing $678,640.[17] By its third weekend in release, only 73 US theaters were showing it, a 97% drop from its first weekend. The film ultimately earned $6,087,542 domestically and $1,178,667 internationally for a total of $7,266,209 on a $75.6 million production budget.[2] After its third week it was withdrawn, one of the shortest circulation times for a big-budget film.[18] In the United Kingdom, the film was dropped by virtually every cinema after critics panned it. Gigli was stated to be a major part in Sony Pictures losing $42 million in the quarter of its release, even if the studio had the successful Bad Boys II and S.W.A.T. during the same period.[19]

The worldwide gross of $7.7 million against a $75.6 million budget made Gigli one of the most expensive box office flops of all time.[20]

Awards and nominations

Award Ceremony date Category Subject Result
Golden Raspberry Awards February 28, 2004 Worst Picture Columbia/Revolution Studios Won
Worst Actor Ben Affleck, also for Daredevil and Paycheck Won
Worst Actress Jennifer Lopez Won
Worst Supporting Actor Al Pacino Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Lainie Kazan Nominated
Worst Screen Couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Won
Worst Director Martin Brest Won
Worst Screenplay Won
February 26, 2005 Worst "Comedy" of Our First 25 Years Won
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards[21] February 22, 2004 Worst Film Nominated
Worst Actor Ben Affleck, also for Daredevil and Paycheck Won
Worst Fake Accent - Male Ben Affleck Won
Worst Actress Jennifer Lopez Won
Worst Fake Accent - Female Won
Worst On-Screen Couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Won
Worst Supporting Actor Justin Bartha Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Lainie Kazan Nominated
Most Intrusive Musical Score Nominated
Worst Sense of Direction Martin Brest Nominated
Worst Song "Baby Got Back" Nominated


Its title was named by the Global Language Monitor as one of the top worst from Hollywood having an impact on the English language in 2003.[22] 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.'"

Yahoo! Movies rates Gigli number one on their Bottom Rated Movies of All Time,[23] with a critics' rating of D.[24] The Onion, a satirical newspaper, ran an article about the film, titled "Gigli focus groups demand new ending in which Affleck and Lopez die."[25]

"Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Virus Alert" from the album Straight Outta Lynwood includes the line "make your TV record Gigli" as one of the negative effects of the titular virus.[26]

In May 2015, The Hollywood Reporter named Gigli #25 on its list of "50 Worst Movie Titles of All Time".[27]

See also


  1. "GIGLI (15)". British Board of Film Classification. August 13, 2003. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  2. Lang, Brent (September 2, 2011). "'Gigli's' Real Price Tag — Or, How Studios Lie About Budgets". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  3. Gigli at Box Office Mojo
  4. Swanson, Tim; Fleming, Michael (October 29, 2001). "Lopez is getting 'Gigli'". Variety. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  5. Meslow, Scott (August 1, 2018). "15 Years Later, Was Gigli Really That Bad?". GQ. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  6. Travers, Peter (August 1, 2003). "Gigli". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  7. "Gigli (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  8. "Gigli Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  9. "CinemaScore".
  10. Roeper, Richard (June 9, 2012). "Richard Roeper's Worst Movies of the Decade list". Listal. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  11. Ebert, Roger (August 1, 2003). "Movie Reviews: Gigli". Chicago Sun-Times.
  12. Barardinelli, James. "Gigli Movie Review".
  13. Siegel, Joel (August 1, 2003). "Now in theaters: Gigli and American Wedding". Good Morning America. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  14. Gleiberman, Owen (July 30, 2003). "Gigli". Entertainment Weekly.
  15. Dawes, Amy (August 2, 2003). "Gigli Review". Variety. Archived from the original on March 28, 2007.
  17. Biggest Second Weekend Drops at the Box Office at Box Office Mojo
  19. Goldsmith, Jill (October 23, 2003). "'Gigli' really wracks Sony". Variety. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  20. Eller, Claudia (January 15, 2014). "The costliest box office flops of all time". Los Angeles Times.
  21. "2003 26th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinker Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  22. "Hollywords". Global Language Monitor. Archived from the original on September 15, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  23. Top Movies at Yahoo! Movies
  24. Gigli (2003) - Movie Info at Yahoo! Movies
  25. "Gigli Focus Groups Demand New Ending In Which Both Affleck And Lopez Die". The Onion. July 30, 2003.
  26. ""Weird Al" Yankovic - Virus Alert Lyrics". Genius. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  27. "50 of the Worst Movie Titles of All Time".
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