Ben Affleck: Lucy Nicholson/REUTERS/NewsCOm
Gary Susman
August 12, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Joining the dogpile of criticism of ”Gigli” is the movie’s own star, Ben Affleck. ”I don’t think the movie ultimately held up as a whole,” he told Jay Leno on Monday’s ”Tonight Show.” While he said that ”scene by scene,” the movie featured good work, ”you can put scenes together and sometimes they just don’t work. It wasn’t good and we got buried.”

Still, he said, critics had their knives sharpened before they saw the film. ”I think there was a certain amount of schadenfreude, a certain amount of a critical slam dunk contest that it turned into, like some [critic] was saying, ‘I have been saving up this one turn of phrase all summer.’ But that’s part of the deal,” said Affleck, who appeared on ”Tonight” to promote the new ”Project Greenlight” movie, ”The Battle of Shaker Heights.”

Affleck promised that ”Jersey Girl,” his next movie costarring fiancée Jennifer Lopez, will be better than their pairing in ”Gigli.”  He said, ”I think ‘Jersey Girl’ is a really good movie. Jen is only in it for about 10 minutes, so it’s not really like a ‘me-and-Jen’ movie. After the towering success of ‘Gigli,’ I suspect Miramax will find a way to sell it as other than a ‘me-and-Jen’ movie.”

The actor also took time to dismiss last month’s now notorious strip-club evening as a ”mini-bachelor party” and said J. Lo knew he was going. Besides, he said, it was so tame that ”it would have been like a brunch for Colin Farrell.”

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