This Is Jennifer Lopez…Then and Now

How did Jennifer Lopez become the icon she is? How did she and Ben Affleck find each other after a lifetime apart? Lopez’s new musical biopic visual album tells all, taking us through a tumultuous story of a woman trying to find love.
This Is Jennifer Lopez…Then and Now

Go big or go home, right? Singer, dancer, and actress Jennifer Affleck (née Lopez) does all three in her new musical biopic visual album “This is Me… Now: A Love Story.” The semi-autobiographical tale follows “the Artist” (Lopez) as she struggles with finding and losing love throughout her life. Dave Meyers (director of “Positions” and “Humble” music videos), long-time collaborator and music-video maestro, is the director who brings Lopez’s dreams to life — literally. The $20 million film includes sweeping metaphors such as a steampunk factory for a giant mechanical heart, an apartment building made of glass, and a zodiac council (starring Jane Fonda, Post Malone, Sofia Vergara, Trevor Noah, Keke Palmer, Jay Shetty, Kim Petras, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson) who pass judgment through a hole in the heavens.

 

“This Is Me… Now” operates without much plot except for Lopez’s desire to fall in love. The film moves between therapy sessions and the flashbacks, dreams, and partners she discusses during them. Reality blurs with fiction during many scenes, but these interjections of fiction are often random or confusing. Though the zodiac council provides an opportunity to show off a stacked cast and detailed set highlighting each star sign, the council only discusses the Artist’s love life from afar without acting. The factory in which workers have to feed flower petals to a giant mechanical heart shows up several times in the Artist’s dreams, but it is an overly obvious visual metaphor that invokes disorientation and leaves the audience to question what is happening.

 

The more grounded throughline of the film are the real people in the Artist’s life. Both her friends and therapist question her decisions whenever she decides to start a new relationship. They have given up on her ability to find love and are trying to convince her to do the same. 

 

“What is wrong with wanting to spend your life with someone?” Lopez asks her therapist as she begins to lose hope. This question mirrors Lopez’s trials with love in the real world. Her three marriages are referenced in the scene “Can’t Get Enough,” in which her husbands are edited over each other over the course of one fairytale wedding. This catchy and fun musical number is one of many places Lopez shows off her polished dance skills.

 

Another credit to Lopez is her willingness to make fun of herself. In the middle of the film, after her therapist brings up the fact that she has been redoing the same routines for 10 years, Lopez goes to a meeting for love addicts and sings “Broken Like Me.” This song is a stripped-down ballad about a former break-up that has affected her into the present. While it is true that Lopez has had many relationships, this film is mostly in conversation with one. In 2002, Jennifer Lopez dedicated her third studio album “This is Me… Then” to her then-boyfriend, Ben Affleck. They were penned “Bennifer,” dated for two years, and broke up days before their wedding. In the time since their engagement, they married other people and had children, before finding each other again and getting married in 2022. “This Is Me… Now” is an album dedicated to Ben Affleck, again, this time as her husband. Are you following?

 

“This Is Me… Now: A Love Story” is a film about Lopez’s search for love before finding Affleck. In the end, “the Artist” almost quits her search for love but quickly changes her mind. Life blurs with fiction when she decides it is better to hold on to hope. Even if everyone is against her, Lopez will not be shamed into cynicism. She has proven herself to be the type of person who will spend $20 million self-financing a ridiculously grand visual album because she refuses to compromise on her vision. She is the type of person to break up with someone, marry them twenty years later, and release a three-part album about it. The album “This is Me… Now” and the film “This is Me… Now: A Love Story” are out now, and her behind-the-scenes documentary “The Greatest Love Story Never Told” will be released on February 27. Is this all necessary? No. But is it romantic? Yes.

 

Image courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Kaley Chun, Senior Staff Writer
More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The UCSD Guardian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *