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Jennifer Lopez’s $20M vanity project: Singer’s new film This Is Me… Now is panned by critics who blast the tribute to her husband Ben Affleck as a ‘chaotic, audacious and painful’


Critics have blasted Jennifer Lopez‘s new film This In Me… Now: A Love Story as a ‘self-financed and resolutely, painfully autobiographical’ vanity project. 

The singer, 54, shelled out a staggering $20million ($16million) to fund the film which was released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday. 

The movie is part of a three-way project about her famous search for love and how she ultimately found it with her husband Ben Affleck, 51. 

Jennifer will also release an album This Is Me … Now, which is a follow-up to her 2003 album This Is Me … Then which was inspired by and dedicated to Ben

There is also documentary chronicling the making of the film and record, The Greatest Love Story Never Told.

Critics have blasted Jennifer Lopez's new film This In Me... Now: A Love Story as a 'self-financed and resolutely, painfully autobiographical' vanity project

Critics have blasted Jennifer Lopez’s new film This In Me… Now: A Love Story as a ‘self-financed and resolutely, painfully autobiographical’ vanity project

The singer, 54, shelled out a staggering £16million ($20million) to fund the film which was released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday

The singer, 54, shelled out a staggering £16million ($20million) to fund the film which was released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday

The pair ended their engagement a year after the record’s release, but they got back together almost two decades later and married in 2022.

And while Jennifer gained recognition for her role in the 2019 film Hustlers, which she also produced, critics have been less favourable about her latest project in which she stars and sings songs from her new album. 

The actress plays Atia Boggs with the script written by her husband Ben and Dave Meyers (who also directed it). Ben will play Rex Stone. 

Ratings were scored just two out of five stars by the The Standard, The Guardian and The Independent with many tearing into the ‘truly chaotic’ plot, while others slammed the star for spending so much on what they thought was essentially ‘a vanity project’. 

 El Hunt for The Standard wrote: ‘Before diving into the pulsing metal heart of J-Lo’s new fantastically-styled love story This Is Me… Now I should probably issue a quick disclaimer: even though this is among the most unhinged pieces of film imaginable, I completely understand what on earth possessed her to make it.

‘To be honest, if I happened to have a spare $20 million kicking about, the temptation to make an incredibly extra, metaphor-riddled quasi-musical about my trials and tribulations of the heart would be irresistible.

‘The problem is that it wouldn’t be a very sensible way to spend it. While proper, full-blown heartbreak hurts in a way that makes you feel like you are officially the only living person in history to ever feel this rotten – ever! – most of us have been there, done that, and got the ill-advised break-up haircut to show for it.’

The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee said while she is a ‘joy to watch’ the film feels rushed with the various themes in the film causing it to feel disordered. 

He wrote: ‘This Is Me … Now: A Love Story is a lot of things. It’s part visual album, part “warts-and-all” autobiography, part animated Puerto Rican myth, part sci-fi epic, part celebrity satire and part self-help exercise. It’s inarguably too many parts to make something that feels whole, a chaotic and rushed journey through the mind of a megastar who prefers to keep her real self in the shade. 

The movie and album dropped on February 16, while the documentary will be released on February 27

The movie and album dropped on February 16, while the documentary will be released on February 27

This Is Me… Now – What do the critics say? 

The Standard

Rating:

‘Before diving into the pulsing metal heart of J-Lo’s new fantastically-styled love story This Is Me… Now I should probably issue a quick disclaimer: even though this is among the most unhinged pieces of film imaginable, I completely understand what on earth possessed her to make it.

‘To be honest, if I happened to have a spare $20 million kicking about, the temptation to make an incredibly extra, metaphor-riddled quasi-musical about my trials and tribulations of the heart would be irresistible.

‘The problem is that it wouldn’t be a very sensible way to spend it. While proper, full-blown heartbreak hurts in a way that makes you feel like you are officially the only living person in history to ever feel this rotten – ever! – most of us have been there, done that, and got the ill-advised break-up haircut to show for it.’

The Guardian 

Rating:

‘This Is Me … Now: A Love Story is a lot of things. It’s part visual album, part “warts-and-all” autobiography, part animated Puerto Rican myth, part sci-fi epic, part celebrity satire and part self-help exercise. It’s inarguably too many parts to make something that feels whole, a chaotic and rushed journey through the mind of a megastar who prefers to keep her real self in the shade. 

‘It’s not really much of anything in the end, and feels most like a stitched together collection of pre-filmed awards show bits, working best as yet more proof of Lopez’s considerable screen magnetism.

‘She’s a joy to watch, a pro at elevating something that should be beneath her, even when it has come from her own hand. If this is Lopez as she is now, willing to take a certain kind of risk, then let’s hope she’s willing to take more.’ 

Empire 

Rating:

‘It is a pretty audacious hour-and-a-bit. Much of the film will have you scratching your head in bafflement.

‘Self-financed and resolutely, painfully autobiographical, This Is Me… Now: A Love Story has been accused of being a vanity project for Lopez — an accusation which feels meaningless. 

‘Of course it is! You would hardly catch her doing some sort of humility project. This is a garish, frequently insane, diamond-encrusted fantasy trip into the mind of a superstar, and we should be grateful to have even limited access.’

The Telegraph 

Rating:

‘Jennifer Lopez is reported to have spent $20 million (approximately £16 million) of her own money on this extended concept video for her album of the same name. It shows for two reasons. 

‘First, the viewer is dazzled by the kind of high gloss that only large amounts of cash can buy, presumably with the intention of blinding them to the project’s lack of purpose or depth.

‘Second, if someone else were to hand J-Lo $20 million to make a film, in which she portrays herself as a Disney princess type looking for love in all the wrong places, they would surely say: spend it wisely. What’s most exciting about it, is that behind the lunacy, so much of it works.’ 

The Independent 

Rating:

‘The plot feels truly chaotic, blending (deep breath here, please) mythology, astrology, autobiography, confessional, modern romantic comedy and Old Hollywood glamour (still with us?), it is so J.Lo — so very, very J.Lo — that it feels logical, too.

‘Whether that means the film is, well, good, is probably a matter of how you feel about Lopez. Certainly, she’s brought everything to the table here: her talents, her fertile imagination and her wallet, too, self-financing when money fell through, to the tune of a reported $20 million. 

‘Talk about self-belief, which is the moral of the film, if expressed rather too quickly and conveniently. If you can’t love yourself, Lopez and co-writer Mark Walton tell us, you can’t really love anyone else.’

The wild project raised the eyebrows of her inner circle, who advised her against shooting the film, suggesting it may be a bad idea - but JLo went ahead and made it anyway

The wild project raised the eyebrows of her inner circle, who advised her against shooting the film, suggesting it may be a bad idea – but JLo went ahead and made it anyway

‘It’s not really much of anything in the end, and feels most like a stitched together collection of pre-filmed awards show bits, working best as yet more proof of Lopez’s considerable screen magnetism.

‘She’s a joy to watch, a pro at elevating something that should be beneath her, even when it has come from her own hand. If this is Lopez as she is now, willing to take a certain kind of risk, then let’s hope she’s willing to take more.’ 

Giving three out of five stars Empire described it as a ‘pretty audacious hour-and-a-bit.’

‘Much of the film will have you scratching your head in bafflement,’ wrote critic John Nugent. 

‘Self-financed and resolutely, painfully autobiographical, This Is Me… Now: A Love Story has been accused of being a vanity project for Lopez — an accusation which feels meaningless. 

‘Of course it is! You would hardly catch her doing some sort of humility project. This is a garish, frequently insane, diamond-encrusted fantasy trip into the mind of a superstar, and we should be grateful to have even limited access.’

The Telegraph gave it the most favourable review but still said it had a ‘lack of purpose or depth’. 

Ben and Jennifer pictured in 2003. Jennifer will also release an album This Is Me ¿ Now, which is a follow-up to her 2003 album This Is Me ¿ Then which was inspired by and dedicated to Ben

Ben and Jennifer pictured in 2003. Jennifer will also release an album This Is Me … Now, which is a follow-up to her 2003 album This Is Me … Then which was inspired by and dedicated to Ben

‘Jennifer Lopez is reported to have spent $20 million (approximately £16 million) of her own money on this extended concept video for her album of the same name. It shows for two reasons. 

‘First, the viewer is dazzled by the kind of high gloss that only large amounts of cash can buy, presumably with the intention of blinding them to the project’s lack of purpose or depth.

‘Second, if someone else were to hand J-Lo $20 million to make a film, in which she portrays herself as a Disney princess type looking for love in all the wrong places, they would surely say: spend it wisely. What’s most exciting about it, is that behind the lunacy, so much of it works.’ 

The film features an all-star cast such as Jane Fonda, Sofia Vergara, Neil deGrasse Tyson along with supernatural elements that include a ‘Zodiac love council’ who scrutinise her romantic weaknesses.

The wild project raised the eyebrows of her inner circle, who advised her against shooting the film, suggesting it may be a bad idea – but JLo went ahead and made it anyway.

It also made her longtime producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas ‘uncomfortable.’

During a late night phone call made by Lopez, JLo informed Elaine that she would contribute $20 million of her own money to fund the film.

‘She’s saying, “I think I’m going to finance this myself.” I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ I don’t even know what it is. What are you doing?’ I was worried. ‘Why are you sharing your story? It’s too personal. Stop it.’ It made me uncomfortable for her.”‘

Amazon ultimately bought the film for an undisclosed figure after the movie was done.



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