08/01/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
Because the reception to their first screen collaboration, "Gigli," is being met with such a rancid reaction by critics, some of whom are calling it the worst cinematic effort in the young century's history, another movie starring the on- and off-screen lovers has lost its original November release date.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "Jersey Girl," starring Jennifer Lopez as a New York book editor and Ben Affleck as a hard-driven publicist, will now open instead within the first three months of the new year, as its studio, Miramax, needs time to let the "Gigli" stink die down, says the paper.
Miramax says the decision was actually made two months ago, out of concern that the public might overload on the two stars, because Affleck also has another film in the pipeline – the thriller "Paycheck" – though that one is to open in December, after the original "Jersey Girl" date.
Directed by Kevin Smith ("Clerks"), "Jersey Girl" also loses Lopez, who dies and leaves Affleck a single father. The Journal notes that in the original cut of "Gigli," Affleck got killed, but preview audiences preferred that he live. Even so, that seems to be all they preferred.
The Washington Post's film critic Stephen Hunter, in his Friday morning review, suggests that Ben and Jerry could have made a better movie than Ben and Jen. "Ach. Oy. Woe and poo, blecch and uck!" he writes. "ZZZZZ-zzz."
The Wall Street Journal's critic Joe Morgenstern simply calls "Gigli" "inexplicable." All right, he says it's hard to beat for "idiocy" and "pretension," too.