Critics Toss Bricks at Ben & Jen's Movie

07/31/2003 AT 01:00 PM EDT

Get out the Razzies. The early reviews are out, and nobody seems to have a kind word for "Gigli."

Just in case you haven't heard, "Gigli," which isn't pronounced the way it looks (but, rather, "Jee-lee"), is a romantic gangster comedy starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, who met on the set and began their storied romance.

But, apparently, what happened offscreen is better than what the stars and their director, Martin Brest ("Beverly Hills Cop," "Meet Joe Black"), left behind.

"'Gigli' is a disaster," declares New York's Daily News, which awards the movie one star (out of four) and tosses the "crude black comedy" on the same funeral pyre as such all-time turkeys as "Ishtar," "Howard the Duck" and "Battlefield Earth."

Reuters, reporting that the flick is being called a low point in movie history -- in the annals of Madonna's "Swept Away" and Mariah Carey's "Glitter" -- singles out one of the movie's more embarrassing moments, a love scene in which Lopez reportedly spreads her legs and informs Affleck, "It's turkey time. Gobble, gobble."

"The 'Gigli' is Up," reported Wednesday's New York Post, which added: "Ben-Jen bomb was made for walking."

The Los Angeles Times, though adhering to the informal industry rule that movies shouldn't be reviewed until the day they open, has tracked the movie's path to disaster, including reputed clashes at a preview screening between director Brest and the head of the studio, Revolution chief Joe Roth, over the finale of the film and its overall pace.

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