News

Why the Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck 2021 reunion matters - Los Angeles Times

Why the Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck 2021 reunion matters - Los Angeles Times
Entertainment
There were undoubtedly elements of bigotry and chauvinism to much of the original Bennifer backlash — especially to the idea that Lopez was a controlling, spoiled “diva” and a compulsive man-eater. So what if both she and Affleck came from close-knit, middle-class families who knew what it was like to struggle financially? Lopez liked designer clothes and expensive candles and had once — gasp! — dated a rapper, and was thus too flashy and risqué for a nice boy from Boston.

Advertisement

As Diane Sawyer put it in a 2002 report on “Primetime Live,” Lopez was “the racy, impetuous pop star with that flashy ex-boyfriend,” while Affleck was “the brainy guy” and “towering actor who romanced an uptown goddess.” (Never mind that “uptown goddess” Gwyneth Paltrow was not exactly known for being low-key either.)

A Times story from 2004 examined Affleck’s career slump and the particular animosity generated by his relationship with Lopez. Kevin Smith suggested that the backlash “probably had to do with a handsome white guy and a Latino girl. ’She lends him street cred and he lends her class’ — people would literally write that.’”

Meanwhile, Affleck was portrayed as an emasculated cheeseball who had been blinded by Lopez’s physical allure — buying her a 6-carat pink diamond engagement ring from Harry Winston, trading in his Red Sox T-shirts for camelhair coats and generally being her designer Ken doll. GQ called him the “world’s most overexposed actor,” mocked him for his fake tan (“You showed up at the ‘Gigli’ premiere looking like an overcooked Oompa-Loompa”) and suggested he dump Lopez in favor of “a woman who won’t make you run out to the corner store for a Lamborghini.” (“We have a couple of very nice editorial assistants here who’d be more than happy with a few cranberry vodkas and a ticket to the Shins,” read the piece.)

Advertisement

Bennifer 2.0 is not only a chance for Affleck and Lopez to rekindle a once-promising romance as older (and hopefully wiser) people, then. It’s also a chance for the rest of us to just let them be happy.

There is something undeniably captivating about couples who come back to each other, particularly in showbiz — think Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, to whom Bennifer have been compared — and while it is unlikely that we have become less cynical about celebrity romance over the last 17 years, it’s possible that we’ve become fonder of Affleck and Lopez in particular, more forgiving of their very human shortcomings and more sensitive to the private struggles of people no matter their bank balance.

Lopez is now celebrated as Hollywood’s most glamorous workhorse, a fiercely disciplined star who channeled her singular charisma into a should-have-been-nominated performance in “Hustlers” and a .
Read more on Los Angeles Times
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Entertainment
A source told Entertainment Tonight that the pair shared a kiss in between sets while working out together in Miami, and that while they walked into the gym separately, they...
Entertainment
Close extra sharing options Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck know the drill Nothing says “celebrity romance” like locking lips at Nobu. The couple, who split up in 2004 but reunited...
Entertainment
Jennifer Lopez is having a moment. The Super Bowl halftime show she performed with Shakira was so high energy and sexy that people couldn’t stop talking about it — either .  Lopez...
Entertainment
While appearing on TODAY Tuesday, the Oscar winner weighed in on the — chatter which has only intensified after they were spotted together last weekend at a luxury resort...
Entertainment
Lopez, 51, graces the May cover of InStyle magazine and is the subject of a feature story, which includes insights from exes Marc Anthony and Ben Affleck on everything from...