Ben Affleck’s Cameo in J-Lo’s Film Must Be Seen to Be Believed

For Ben Affleck fans who thought his small role as Phil Knight in “Air” just needed to be a little BIGGER, Prime Video has a film for you.

And yet, “film” isn’t exactly the right word. The 65-minute “narrative-driven cinematic odyssey” (press release’s words) for Jennifer Lopez‘s wannabe-“Lemonade,” “This Is Me…Now: A Love Story,” follows her search for love, set alongside music videos for several songs off her new album of the same name (also out today!). It’s a bombastic, simplistic misfire.

Opening with a Puerto Rican myth about roses and hummingbirds, viewers are treated to J.Lo working in a steampunk love factory (complete with a giant mechanical heart about to explode!) and a fictionalized-but-clearly-autobiographical tale about realizing she’s a love addict. She’s searching for love in several doomed marriages, before learning the person she really needs to love is…herself.

Throughout its entire (slim) running time, this viewer was waiting for the real love of Jennifer Lopez’s life to put in his previously-teased cameo. Lopez’s real-life husband Affleck is credited in the project’s trailer, so his appearance is not a surprise. Indeed, in the early moments of the project, we see Lopez riding on a motorcycle with a helmeted man who looks suspiciously like the “Argo” Oscar winner, before the motorcycle crashes. Is love…doomed?!

Fifty or so odd (and sometimes quite fun!) minutes later, Lopez finally learns to love herself and is therefore ready to cheekily meet The Right Man. It will be the real thing this time! The camera pans up — but lo! As soon as we catch a glimpse of the jawline (oh, it’s him, alright) the camera cuts away. This is all we get? The love of her life won’t even show his full face in this exclusive-to-Prime Video travesty?

I was stunned.

But the real twist was yet to come: Throughout “This Is Me…Now: A Love Story,” Lopez’s character (billed only as “The Artist”) often has a TV on in the background, in which a cable news host in a bad blonde wig named Rex Stone is occasionally seen yelling about society! tabloids! Lopez’s many mistakes! (Tom Cruise as Stan Grossman is shaking.)

During the credits sequence, a final reveal: Stone is Affleck, decked out with heavy spray tan and movie-star-white teeth. I grabbed my viewing companion’s arm in delight! “Only you can let love in your heart die,” Stone solemnly intones. “And you should never let it die.”

Even by everything viewers have seen prior (including, but not limited, to a musical number in which Lopez cycles through three husbands during the same wedding; a Galactic Greek chorus that includes both Sofia Vergara and Neil deGrasse Tyson looking at her love life; and a deep and immediately healing conversation with her child self) nothing could have prepared viewers for seeing movie star Ben Affleck cameo in this way.

But in a way, this may have inadvertently driven home the message of her movie more than any other set piece: Love is 20-years patient. Love means you “willingly” appear in a forthcoming tie-in documentary special about your reconcilliation. And yes, love means showing up in your beloved’s silly vanity project — but only undercover.

“This Is Me…Now: A Love Story” is streaming now on Prime Video.

SOURCE: IndieWire

About Michael Zotos 334 Articles
Founder and owner of Performer.com/Performer Media LLC, a multimedia content creator for a variety of national plus local print & electronic media affiliates.