I came upon a happy little article on the MSN home page this morning when I started my computer. Among the pleasant tidbits of entertainment gossip I found within, there were the following:
The scoop on the latest, name-changing film from Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck is that in addition to having an identity crisis, it's just plain bad. Tough Love has had its name changed from Gigli, had its release date pushed back four or five times and had a $5 million rewrite after test audiences were left unimpressed. In fact, the original ending had Ben's character dying, but since audiences hated that, the studio had to re-shoot a new ending.
A quick review of the plot and it's easy to see why folks have freezer burn over this puppy. In a nutshell, Ben plays a lowlife thug named Gigli who kidnaps the mentally retarded brother of a federal prosecutor to save his mobster boss from incarceration. Staked-out in his apartment with his kidnapee, Gigli's soon joined by Ricki (Lopez), a gorgeous lesbian gangster who's sent in to assist. But as time goes by (and your life force drained from you) -- his feelings for Ricki grow, (and she of course, falls for him) and then they become concerned for their prisoner... blah, blah, blah.
Some say the fact that J.Lo and Ben met on set may be the only positive thing to come out of filming, while others claim that too is a sham. I'm betting both go straight to video. But wait, there's more! Reports are also coming in that Ben and Jen's romantic chemistry is zero onscreen. Nada. Zippity-doo-dud. According to the National Enquirer, producers of their other new flick Jersey Girl are desperately rewriting love scenes because test audiences don't get why their characters are even attracted to each other! Price tag for re-shoots? A hefty $3 million. The cost of having Ben and Jen turn up the chemistry meter? Priceless.
What the < long string of explitives deleted > was going through the mind of the movie executives who gave the "green light" to these two projects? Had they just switched to a better grade of cocaine? Or were they just getting into a little too into this dictatorial mentality that seems to have taken over the entertainment cartels these days (the apparent theory that unlike horses, you can lead the public to water and they will ALWAYS drink... no matter how awful it tastes)? Or had they just yet again mistaken fascination with personal celebrity for the ability to make bank at the box office?
Well, since the Ben and J. Lo marquee combination is being used to sell crap about lowlifes, lesbian gangsters, and retarded children of prosecutors, I think I'll try to cash in by submitting a few screenplay ideas of my own:
- Okay, my first thought is for an updated version of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. Ben could play a bald, impotent trance club DJ and J. Lo could play a bi-sexual prostitute who is secretly in love with him. Ice-T could have a cameo as her pimp. They hook up with a grifter/heroine junkie played by Brad Pitt and head down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. While there, J. Lo could have an affair with a Bourbon Street lesbian stripper who gets killed by racist homophobes, played by Halle Berry.
No, wait. That has too much titillation potential. They could get Paul Verhoeven (of Basic Instinct and Showgirls fame) to direct. It might actually work. Ok, I'll have to try again.
- How about Ben and J. Lo doing a period costume piece... something like Shakespeare perhaps. That's it... Ben and J. Lo could do a race-reversed version of Othello. Ben could play Othello, and J. Lo could be Desdamona. John Leguizamo could play Iago.
Ugh. That's still not bad enough. Ben might actually be ok in a period costume epic; after all, he was pretty good in the supporting role in Shakespeare In Love. If not, they could update the time and location of the play to be Prohibition Era gang war in the Bronx. That would put J. Lo in her element.
- Aha! A musical version of Cinderella! J. Lo could play Cinderella, and Ben would be the Prince. The members of "Destiny's Child" could play a trio of evil stepsisters, and Diana Ross could play the evil Stepmother. Ving Rhames could play against type, and become J. Lo's fairy Godfather... or maybe Queen Latifah could work if Ving wasn't available. Jah Rule could produce the soundtrack!
Ouch. That would probably make diddley squat at the box office, but the soundtrack could probably sell millions.
People would make money. That kills that idea then.
You know, coming up with utterly worthless plot ideas is harder than I thought. People in Hollywood have to work hard to come up with movie material with absolutely no redeeming value.
- Eureka! A revisionist history of the Kennedy Assassination. Ben could play Lee Harvey Oswald and J. Lo could play his secret mistress -- a Mexican aristocrat's daughter that he met on one of his trips south of the Border. After witnessing the assassination from the Book Depository, Ben and J. Lo must flee Dallas to escape the wrath of the killers from the Grassy Knoll, whom he can identify, while also avoiding capture by the U.S. Government.
Oh yeah... that's it. Gotta starting working up a treatment. That one's gonna sell big down in L.A.
on 2003-04-11 at 1:00 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond