Why Jennifer Lopez’s love life matters more than her music | Entertainment in the United States

Why Jennifer Lopez’s love life matters more than her music | Entertainment in the United States
Why Jennifer Lopez’s love life matters more than her music | Entertainment in the United States

“Like everyone, I have made mistakes. The only difference is that I have done it in public,” Jennifer Lopez confessed in 2007, when she was enjoying the emotional stability that her marriage to her then partner, singer Marc Anthony, gave her. In an interview with the British media The Guardianthe New York artist of Puerto Rican origin (who was then 38 years old, today 54) seemed determined to focus on her work and reluctant to the constant popular scrutiny of fame linked to her personal life. She also spoke of her relationship —between 2002 and 2004— with the actor Ben Affleck with a certain regret, as if becoming part of that entity called Bennifer would have lost his identity as an artist to become a mere celebrity.

Now let’s take a quantum leap in time to the present, 17 years later. During these years, the one known as J.Lo has triumphed in both film and music. She has released 16 films, which have grossed more than 3.1 billion dollars, and is considered the second highest-paid Latina actress in history, after Colombian Sofia Vergara. She has released five albums, selling more than 80 million copies; in 2016, she was named by the magazine Billboard She was ranked as the ninth best dance club artist of all time and performed, alongside Shakira, at the 2020 Super Bowl, about whose hard preparation Netflix dedicated a documentary a couple of years ago. She has had her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 2013, there is a wax doll inspired by her in the famous Madame Tussauds museum in New York, she has been recognized with numerous awards and considered by the magazine Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She even has her own beauty line. As much as people try to undermine her, Jennifer Lopez’s professional career is far, far away from being considered a “failure.”

As for her love life, the artist has been married to Ben Affleck since 2022, with whom she resumed her relationship a few months earlier. Since then, they have become the most media-friendly couple in the world (replacing the now non-existent Brangelinaand surpassing Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce), feeding the paparazzi day and night and occupying continuous headlines. Judging by Lopez’s statements in 2007, one could say that she has returned to inhabit that hell that seemed, 20 years ago, to have swallowed her as an artist. And yet, it is difficult to victimize her now: J.Lo was part of the list Forbes One of the richest self-made women in the United States, she has created an empire under her own brand and has decided to nourish it with her intimate life.

Jennifer Lopez’s latest production is both the most controversial and chaotic of her career. This ambitious project combines an album with a musical and a documentary, something unprecedented, and also focuses on a real part of the singer’s life: her relationship with Ben Affleck. The centerpiece of the project is J.Lo’s ninth album, This Is Me… NowIt is accompanied by a one-hour musical film, This Is Me… Now: A Love Storydirected by Dave Meyers, and a documentary, The Greatest Love Story Never Tolddirected by Jason Bergh, which tells the story of how the musical film was made despite the almost unanimous rejection of all those she invited to collaborate. That the multimedia project has led to the current resounding failure for critics and the public was the chronicle of a death foretold. This three-headed monster was an initiative that, in advance, J.Lo’s inner circle turned their backs on: friends, colleagues, producers and investors. That is the reason that prompted Jennifer Lopez to venture to finance it herself. It cost her the whopping sum of 20 million dollars.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend the Los Angeles premiere of Amazon MGM Studio, in 2024.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin (Getty Images)

The disaster began with the album. It had generated expectations because Jennifer Lopez had not created music for 10 years, and yet the album only reached number 38 on the most listened to lists, passing completely unnoticed within a few weeks. “The biggest problem is that the narrative overshadows the music. Although the songs can be fun (…), the Disney princess angle becomes tiresome and cloying, especially coming from a woman who has worked very hard to achieve the fame she has,” wrote the music critic of Pitchfork. For its part, the American tabloid Page Six She noted that while pop stars like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga are reinventing themselves, “Lopez is stuck in her glory days, recycling uninspired sounds and stories from a quarter-century ago.” It was a setback. The lowest blow of J.Lo’s career.

Then came the musical film fiasco This is me… Now: A Love Storywhich many accused of being egotistical and narcissistic under a veneer of false humility. Jennifer Lopez invited Taylor Swift, Jason Momoa, Jennifer Coolidge, Lizzo, Ariana Grande, Vanessa Hudgens and Anthony Ramos to make cameos, but they all responded saying they were not available. It is a rejection that is openly seen in the third part of the project, the documentary The Greatest Love Story Never Told, trying to show the most vulnerable side of J.Lo. Still, critics still find it somewhat studied and continue to question the artist’s authenticity. On social media, the public is all over her, especially when in the film she recalls her childhood in the Bronx, returning to the narrative of a poor girl that made her successful, but which has been dismantled over time (although Lopez lived in the Bronx, she studied at a private institute). “Is that really her?” asks the critic of The New York Times.

The artist’s purpose in the documentary is to tell her journey towards self-love, but it revolves around her relationship with Ben Affleck, with a narrative that seems to want to convince viewers of the couple’s epic love as a prize or culmination of a life, following the cut of fairy tales. It is something that her friend Jane Fonda already warns her about: “It’s like you’re trying to prove something instead of just living it. You know, in every other photograph you’re kissing and hugging.” The producer of several of J.Lo’s films, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, also had the same suspicions, who told the specialized film media Variety: “I was worried. I said, why are you sharing your story? It’s too personal. Don’t do it.” But above all, Affleck himself, the absolute protagonist, felt uncomfortable with this public exposure of his intimacy. It is a concern that he shares in the documentary “Things that are private are sacred and special because, in part, they are private.”

Jennifer Lopez performs at the Vax Live concert at SoFi Stadium.Jason Armond (Getty Images)

Proving that life is a great paradox, months after the album, the musical film and the documentary about “the greatest love story ever told” were released, rumors began to spread that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were in a crisis that pointed to a separation. All with a similar parallel to 20 years ago (they were together from 2002 to 2004), when media pressure forced them to cancel their wedding.

On May 31, Live Nation announced that it was canceling Jennifer Lopez’s first tour in five years, This Is Me… Live. The concerts, scheduled throughout the United States and Canada, were cancelled a week before the tour was due to begin. Shortly after, on June 9, the media’s website reported Entertainment Online It was announced that the couple was putting their Beverly Hills home up for sale. Some sources suggest that the cancellation of the tour is due to the artist not having sold enough tickets; others attribute it to her emotional instability due to the fact that she is separating from Affleck. In any case, personal and professional aspects can no longer be separated. More than promoting her music, J.Lo projects her image, life and personal brand as an integral part of her artistic proposal.

 
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