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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino, Justin Bartha, Christopher Walken
Director: Martin Brest

“I’m the bull and you’re the cow!” This is Larry Gigli’s (Ben Affleck) opinion on how all relationships should be in this case he is the bull and Ricki (Jennifer Lopez) is the cow. They are both hired muscle a.k.a ‘contractors’ working on a very sensitive kidnapping/hostage job. When Gigli kidnaps an autistic kid Brian (Justin Bartha) and holds him hostage, Ricki is brought in to watch Gigli as he has proved to be somewhat inadequate in the past. Gigli is initially unimpressed by Ricki but he soon finds himself attracted to her. However Ricki turns out to be attracted to the other women not men, much to Gigli’s shock and disappointment. As the job progresses circumstances cause both Gigli and Ricki to change in ways that they would never have imagined.

Ben Affleck is actually quite funny in his portrayal of a middle-aged man who is stuck in a dead-end, low-life existence. He doesn’t manage though to totally get rid of the prep school image so consequently his overall character is just not convincing enough.

Jennifer Lopez’s performance is reasonable with one particularly funny scene involving a discussion about vaginas and penises, “Turkey time – gobble, gobble!” but unfortunately she seems to be merely following Affleck’s lead which is disappointing as she is capable of so much more. In contrast, the cameos from Christopher Walken as a cop and Al Pacino as a crime boss are delivered perfectly and Justin Bartha holds his own as the autistic kid.

Martin Brest (MIDNIGHT RUN, BEVERLY HILLS COP, SCENT OF A WOMAN) does not direct a good product here. The characters are not developed at all and the story juggles itself between a love story and coming of age/bonding movie. With better character development this movie would probably have been quite good.

The end result is a few funny scenes, some very good shots of Jennifer’s famous body and only a fair attempt to make something great that is best viewed in the comfort of your home.

3 out of 6 stars