There are, it would seem, two subsets of Worst Movies that are then split into two further subsets, creating four categories. First, there is the separation between a movie that is widely known as bad, your Boondock Saints and your Battlefield Earths, and movies that have tricked many people into thinking they’re good, your Spanglishs, or your I Am Sams. Within these subsections you have the much simpler division between those movies that are enjoyable to watch despite being the worst and those movies that are unwatchable. If you were to map these all out on a grid, with “Recognized” on the left hand side of the X axis, and “Unrecognized” on the right hand side, and then “Watchable” at the top of the Y axis and “Unwatchable at the bottom, we are now firmly in the bottom left hand corner. You know, geometry. That was a complicated way of plotting out Gigli‘s place in the world, but being as it’s one of the most mathematically terrible movies in existence, not inappropriate.

Gigli is the last name of our “hero,” a mob thug played by Ben Affleck. He has been put in charge of kidnapping a mentally challenged young man, Brian, from a hospital and holing him up in his shabby apartment to await further instructions. Then Jennifer Lopez shows up and he gets a boner and she tells him that it was a trick to see if he would mess up and now the two of them have to watch Brian together. It turns out that Brian’s brother is a federal prosecutor pursuing a case against a mafia don played by Al Pacino (wow, what?) and the kidnapping was intended to put pressure on the government to drop the case, because that sounds like a plan that would work. Eventually, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez fall in love, kind of, even though Jennifer Lopez is a lesbian, and decide that they hate being the bad guys, and they run away, leaving Brian alone on the beach.

Like K-Pax, this movie already starts at a serious deficit as part of the Worst Genre of All Time, the Crazy/Mentally-Disabled Person Teaches the Jaded Cynic to Enjoy Life Again school of reductive redemption stories. In fact, it brings together lots of Worst Movie tropes that we’ve encountered before, including the casting of Justin Bartha in the role of Brian. I maintain and will continue to maintain that the line between powerful dramatic portrayal of the mentally disabled and schoolyard mockery is razor thin, where the razor is made out of sadness. Not that Justin Bartha was even the biggest liability, acting wise. That would be Mr. Affleck. Woof.

With Jennifer Lopez right behind him. And sometimes in front of him.

Always with the pearls in this movie! And what is it with Ben Affleck and unrealistic depictions of gorgeous sexually unsure lesbians?

Gigli, of course, was made famous as the project on which Bennifer was created. They fell in love during its shooting and became the most famous couple in the world for awhile. Which is one of the funniest things to think of now. I already feel like my own grandkid asking me “Really? Ben who? And Jennifer who? And you’re telling me they were famous? Extremely famous? No, I don’t want a butterscotch from your sweater pocket.” Maybe they should have spent less time falling in love on set and more time calling their agents to get them pulled off this Titanic of a movie.

It’s difficult to even write about why and how this movie fails because it does so in every single facet. Even the soundtrack, which even the worst movies usually have a soundtrack, but Gigli is just terrible easy listening hold music, like they went into the studio and put the Time Warner customer service line on speakerphone. Then there are all of the gaping plotholes, like why can Ben Affleck just walk into a home for the mentally disabled and kidnap Brian without anyone saying anything? And how come after they’ve kidnapped a HUMAN BEING, they still take him on all their ERRANDS?

It was written and directed by Martin Brest, who also directed Beverly Hills Cop (that’s a great movie!) and Scent of a Woman (that’s kind of a ridiculous movie!). He also gave the world this.

But, at least as far as IMDB is concerned, Gigli basically ended his career. That’s sad. We should all, as a country, take a Mulligan on this one. Can’t Martin Brest just pick up some garbage next to a highway on ramp for a couple weeks and get back to work? I think we’ve all paid his debt to society at this point.

Next week: Powder. As always make your suggestions for TWMOAT in the comments or in an email. If you have not before, please consult the Official Rules.

Comments (37)
  1. Gigli is such fail. I actually watched it to give it a chance.
    I think they were speedballing and were like “Dude, let’s do a fucking movie about fucking retards and fucking lesbians and fucking buddhists AHHHHHH *injects more heroin*”
    Awful. Just awful. I can’t believe I Am Sam is considered in the same boat as this film.

  2. My Eyes Are Still Burning  |   Posted on Oct 20th, 2008 +2

    A few years ago, my friend and I were in a Blockbuster and we had the brilliant idea of renting ‘Gigli’ to see how bad it was, because it would probably be hilariously, enjoyably bad. No. No it wasn’t. Gabe actually understates the badness of this film. It was painful to watch Ben Affleck’s character. Not to mention, um, all of the other ones.

    It was so bad that my friend almost turned it off before it ended because she thought the pain would never stop But I said wait, I think it might be almost over, I think they’re actually going to ride off into the sunset together. And then, a minute later, they did. BARF.

  3. MsQuinn  |   Posted on Oct 20th, 2008 0

    I saw August Rush over the weekend. Holy crap. What a mess. Robin Williams lords over a merry band of urchin-like child musical prodigies. WHAT?

  4. Powder is in the TOP left hand corner of your grid (GOLDBLUM!).
    Drink THAT in.

  5. Powder Hat  |   Posted on Oct 20th, 2008 0


  6. Saida  |   Posted on Oct 20th, 2008 +5

    My ex-girlfriend presented that J.Lo monologue on lesbianism as one of the greatest pieces of dialogue in cinematic history. With genuine enthusiasm. After a year together, we broke it off shortly thereafter. So, there. Proof. Gigli is not ONLY the worst film ever, it also kills lesbian relationships.

  7. so everyone wants to kiss a vagina and no one wants to kiss a penis – was that the lesson there?

    who wrote this?

  8. I just got as uncomfortable watching that monologue as if my parents had been in the room. I’m pretty sure I’m breaking out in those anxiety hives.

  9. seth  |   Posted on Oct 21st, 2008 -1

    i can’t believe she didn’t mention her ass.

  10. Mandy  |   Posted on Oct 21st, 2008 0

    oh man, powder was an integral part of my childhood.

    i nominate Smart People for Worst Movie Ever judging. i think it quite fits into your idea of the Worst kind of Worst movie. because Noam Murro (whoever that is) thinks he can just throw ellen page in a film and it will become the quirky, vaguely poignant indie film of the year. no.also Dennis Quaid has a prosthetic belly in it, which makes no sense.

  11. sarcasticmeow  |   Posted on Oct 21st, 2008 -1

    Please Review Galaxy Quest with Tim Allen. That movie was beyond awful

    • natemc  |   Posted on Oct 21st, 2008 +3

      Tim Allen for WMOAT Lifetime Achievement Award.

    • neil  |   Posted on Oct 22nd, 2008 +5

      What type of snarky hipster bullshit is this? Galaxy Quest is awesome. You must not have a sense of humor or an even passing appreciation for Sci-Fi to believe that Galaxy Quest is anywhere near the worst movie of all time. Moron.

  12. The trailer for Smart People was unwatchable.

    What about Dan In Real Life? Is it ineligible because Dane Cook is in the supporting cast? Does that automatically make the worst? It would have been a train wreck without Dane Cook, for the record.

    • dave  |   Posted on Oct 21st, 2008 +1

      agreed. steve carell is the brother of DANE COOK??!! that’s insane, especially since in the movie, dane cook is the “funny and charming” favorite son

  13. Please do A Lot Like Love. Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher put straws up their noses to indicate they have chemistry because hey, they both like to laugh. The movie constantly tries to trick you (i.e. she had a kid?? NOPE, just babysitting. he’s married!?!? NOPE, his sisters wedding) Not to mention the movie doesn’t give one reason why they should be together other than they haven’t found anyone better. It should be called ‘I SETTLED FOR THE WORST.’

  14. Michael. John Travolta as an angel.

  15. I would like to second the nomination for Dan in Real Life. Yes, even without Dane Cook it would have still been just as ridiculous! Also, I’m surprised that no one has mentioned “The Majestic” with Jim Carrey.

  16. As a little add on to the last clip, Meet Joe Black is a terribly boring and awful excuse for a movie, but because of those 3 seconds, it gets free pass.

  17. Three to Tango. I can’t believe this took me so long. That movie was so bad!

  18. dan in real life, truman show (it was okay but pretty horrible), anything with ashton kutcher or tim allen (altho i’m pretty sure those can’t count cause they must be intentionally bad to be that bad)

  19. THom Bohdanowicz  |   Posted on Oct 21st, 2008 0


    please. for the love of god.

  20. Thom  |   Posted on Oct 21st, 2008 -2


  21. Kalman  |   Posted on Oct 23rd, 2008 +2

    This is easy. The worst movie of all time is The Telephone, starring Whoopi Goldberg. Seriously, I cannot stress this enough. It is the WORST. I can’t even go into detail, just read the synopsis online and you will see. Oh, and Rip Torn directed it.

  22. ‘The Big Hit’ is pretty bad – although it’s hard to top a line like “the mouth is the twin sister to the vagina.”

  23. ted leo  |   Posted on Oct 25th, 2008 0

    four words:
    “linda lovelace for president”

  24. What is it with Ben Affleck having sex with lesbians? Chasing Amy, Gigli. Don’t kid yourself dude.

  25. umm..i dont know anyone who doesn’t think boondock saints is bad. in fact, the opposite is true with most of them. even if you don’t like the movie, you can’t say its widely known as bad…it has a huge cult following. and why not? it serves a purpose. action with no plot = fun.

  26. Corey  |   Posted on Jan 7th, 2009 -1

    Boondock Saints is a CLASSIC OF WESTERN CINEMA and you can die in a fire if you think otherwise.

  27. Armyofwires  |   Posted on Feb 7th, 2009 0

    This really needed the Chris Walken clip, because, wow.

  28. The Penis Vs. Vagina scene is better than anything in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

  29. I’ve watched a little more than half of the movies featured on this website, and my vote for all-time worst is Gigli. Painful. Not funny. Horribly produced. Pretentious. There’s nothing good to say about this film.

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