Wait, was J. Lo’s Cloud Atlas kind of hilarious
My most controversial take: Jennifer Lopez can barely act and barely sing, yet we’ve somehow allowed her to build an entire career around both. That’s how we ended up with This is Me … Now: A Love Story — J. Lo’s music video meets semi-autobiographical feature film meets thesis on the merits of astrology (points were made). They’re calling it her Cloud Atlas. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the Beyonce Renaissance visuals.
What is Jennifer Lopez This is Me … Now: A Love Story About?
Before we get into the plot, if there is one, we have to ask ourselves: what is this movie at all? If you’re the only person in the world who missed it, this is the context. Jennifer Lopez recently married Ben Affleck, king of Dunkin Donuts, after their relationship took a twenty-year hiatus. This is Me … Now is about that tale. It’s also a sequel to her 2002 album This Is Me … Then.
But it’s not a story of how she met Affleck and found her way back to him. Their romance has been reported by the media ad nauseam, contributing to its initial demise. In Jennifer Lopez’s latest movie, she talks about her journey to loving herself — and how that brought her back to Ben in the end.
To tell this story, J. Lo spent $20 million dollars of her own money on this three-part project: the album, the hour-long Amazon Prime Video musical film both released Friday, February 16th. And then a documentary about the making of the record and the film dropped on Tuesday, February 27th.
The musical film has been the talk of the internet since the trailer launched. The internet dubbed it J.Lo’s Cloud Atlas, they marveled at the celebrity appearances (which were even more surprising in the full film), and wondered, why, Jen, why?
What happens in Jennifer Lopez’s This Is Me … Now?
The story is a combination of dream sequences and dance breaks, tenuously stitched together with a therapy plotline starring Fat Joe as the therapist. But before all that, it begins with a heartbreak. Lopez is riding on the back of Affleck’s motorcycle when they suddenly crash. No prizes for guessing what that represents. Then, she launches into the first dream sequence, a dance break in a “heart factory” where workers exclaim: “it’s gonna break.”
This melodramatic fictionalization of her first breakup with Affleck is emblematic of the insanity that ensues. The story follows as Lopez marries three times and falls into a string of relationships. The lesson is exactly what you’d expect: she has to love herself first. This realization culminates in the title track of the album, “This Is Me … Now.”
Who is in This Is Me … Now: Cast Cameos for the Ages
Like a Marvel movie or Oppenheimer, the main merit of this film is pointing at the TV and saying, hey, I know that actor! The This Is Me … Now cast was one for the ages. Quite the cast of characters. But I would have watched it just for them.
The most iconic scenes were the ones on the Zodiac council, a strange (but honestly satisfying) side plot that showed the council of the constellations watching with horror as J. Lo’s love life unfolded. This was a roundtable worthy of a Variety video. It starred Jane Fonda as Sagittarius, Trevor Noah as Libra, Kim Petras as Virgo, Keke Palmer as Scorpio, Sofía Vergara as Cancer, Jenifer Lewis as Gemini, Jay Shetty as Aries, Neil DeGrasse Tyson as Taurus, Sadhguru as Pisces, and, last but certainly not least, rapper Post Malone as Leo.
It was at this moment I wondered: "Is this the funniest movie of the year?" Why was Keke Palmer doing a Maya Angelou impersonation? I'll never know, but I'll be glad to see it.
Was This Is Me … Now good?
I have to give it to J.Lo, she’s an entertainer. We know her limitations when it comes to singing and acting, even if she doesn’t,...but as a dancer? She can perform. However, it would have been a much more satisfying performance if the songs were good. Apart from the admittedly catchy title track, the songs are immediately forgettable and, in the context of the film, feel overly sentimental. But what’s new from the romcom legend J. Lo.
But I will say: although this task was ambitious and self-indulgent, I commend J. Lo for taking a creative risk and pioneering a new form of musical storytelling. She did what she wanted to do — and it was a blend of Cloud Atlas and Singing in the Rain. I hope more artists break past the boundaries of their bubbles and connect back to their creativity by being bold. I just wish it were good. Beyonce, your turn.
Watch the This Is Me … Now: A Love Story Trailer here:
This Is Me...Now: A Love Story - Official Trailer | Prime Videowww.youtube.com
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