Ahead of the NZ Film Festival (which is full of excellent films), the Herald team decided to watch five of the worst films we could think to inflict on each other. Today, Chris Schulz watches the 2003 box office flop Gigli.
About one third of the way into Gigli, Ben Affleck's character, a tough-talking low level gangster called Larry, leans his elbow against a fireplace.
Across the room, the toned figure of Jennifer Lopez' character Ricki is cutting a variety of sultry yoga positions that the camera hovers on for far too long.
It's important to note here that Ricki is gay, has told Larry this, and has already explicitly expressed absolutely no desire for him, or for men of any type.
Does that stop Larry? No, it does not. With his elbow cocked up against that fireplace, here are some actual words that actually come out of Ben Affleck's actual mouth.
"When it comes to pleasing a woman, your girlfriends ... they're at a natural disadvantage. It's like they might try hard, but they're just not backed up by millions of years of genetic engineering, programming, instinct.
"Nature has evolved man for that purpose. Satisfy. Lead the pack."
Does Affleck stop there? No, he does not. Bare with me. This ode to Why-Ricki-Should-Give-Up-Her-Gayness-And-Sleep-With Larry gets worse.
"That's why these lesbians are always going out buyin', spending all their dough on like, y'know, sexual appliances, erotic monkey wrenches and shit, trying to compensate for what they don't have, they're not getting.
"The penis. That's right. Its very design tells you everything you need to know."
Genetic engineering? Erotic monkey wrenches? The penis? And shit?! What. Is. Ben. Affleck. Talking. About?
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking this didn't happen. You think I'm making this up. You don't believe this happened, do you?
Well, here's the clip to prove it. Warning: the following scene isn't safe for work. But then again, we're talking about Gigli, so none of it is safe for any situation.
Was Gigli always this bad? Yes it was. Made at the height of Lopez and Affleck's "Bennifer" celebrity mania, Gigli was described at the time of its release in 2003 as, "unwatchable," "profoundly lunkheaded," and the "worst film ever made".
It made just $7 million back from its $74 million budget, has a six per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and director Martin Brest, who helmed Academy Award nominated comedy Beverly Hills Cop and Golden Globe winner Scent of a Woman, hasn't directed a movie since.
Shortly afterwards, Affleck called off the pair's engagement. Their careers survived. Affleck is currently The Batman; Lopez received a Billboard Icon Award in 2014.
But over the years, Gigli has remained a cinematic shit stain, a film to be avoided at all costs. Funnily enough, time has only made it worse. Much, much worse. Watching it last night, the film's basic premise seems to be this: the unstoppably arrogant Affleck is a wannabe douchebag gangsta who kidnaps and abuses a mentally challenged kid while continually trying to ungay Lopez' Ricki.
Soundtracking all this is the kind of music Seinfeld used to great effect for a sitcom. This isn't a sitcom. It's supposed to be a rom-com, but there are jarring arguments, a suicide attempt, and a murder. Al Pacino's in it. So is Christopher Walken. None of this suits bouncy synth patterns.
But the worst thing about Gigli isn't Affleck's sleazy grin and attempts to turn Ricki. It isn't Lopez' accent, which sounds like Fergie coked out on tramadol after three root canals. It isn't the jarring script, wayward soundtrack, dodgy acting, or the cameraman's obvious hard-on for Lopez. Neither is it the scene where Lopez compares Affleck's penis to a sea slug.
It's this. Three-quarters of the way through Gigli, I realised I've already seen it. That means I've spent the last 14 years blocking it out of my memory.
Now, I have to do try and do it again. UGH.
• We're doing this because having to watch bad movies is funnier than getting to watch good ones. But if you want to see better movies, check out what's going on at the NZ International Film Festival.