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Old Dec 14th, 2002, 03:28 PM   #1
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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck: great article

Very funny,and spot on about both of them

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/frida...858566,00.html

Come back Burton and Taylor

J-Lo and Affleck's soundbite marriage.
John Patterson
Friday December 13, 2002
The Guardian

I've been scanning the newspapers, the internet, the celeb-gossip TV shows and the scandal magazines a lot lately. I'm given to believe, by what I read there, that the single most important drama currently unfolding on the world stage is not the likely invasion of Iraq, but the impending nuptials of J-Lo and Ben Affleck. We've heard all about the $3.5m ring he gave her, the whirlwind romance that surprised everyone, the headlong rush to the altar announced in October, when the ink on Lopez's July divorce was still wet, and the endless saccharine rehashes of it all in print from journalists working on rumour, eighth-hand non-sources, bribable doormen and self-proclaimed "friends of friends". And we eat it up off the floor with hands unwashed. When we are finished, we ask for more - and we get it.
Where does our bottomless appetite for all this vacuous crap come from? I have yet to encounter a single soul who gives even a fraction of a monkey's bum about this tedious couple and their (I'll wager) five months of wedded bliss. Is this our era's sad apology for a Burton and Taylor, Sinatra and Ava Gardner, Gable and Lombard, Fairbanks and Pickford? Well, they are both gigantic stars, but that's about as far as it goes. Neither Lopez nor Affleck has a scintilla of the talent, epochal hold on us or enduring iconic status of their illustrious predecessors. They remind me more of Cher and Gregg Allman, the singer/ drama queen and the desiccated waste case, who married briefly and disastrously in the mid-1970s. At least they offered great, trashy, love-in-a-tailspin fare for the tabloids of the time. Lopez and Affleck will conduct their romance through press releases, sound-bites, and scripted moments on the red carpet at premieres and powermonger bashes.

We will learn exactly what they want us to learn. The joining together of J-Lo and Ben seems more like a canny set of career moves. Lopez's third album, evasively entitled This Is Me, came out three weeks after their headline-grabbing engagement announcement, and trailers for Daredevil, Affleck's attempt (doomed, I think) to craft his own superhero franchise, started in heavy rotation in US cinemas only a week or so later.

Lopez can enjoy being associated with Affleck's "indie" background, and Affleck can be seen to be bigger and better than he actually is. Lopez's career couldn't be hotter. She's the biggest Latina star in history, which is great, except she's been that for about four years. She has already had a number-one album and a number-one movie in the same grim week. She has handled the twin demands of movie and music-making with much greater success than her career role-model Madonna did before her film career was Swept Away. Yet there is a hollowness to J-Lo's work created by her avowed intention to establish herself as the biggest star in any medium she tackles. Such an approach requires an iron devotion to the lowest common denominator if maximum units are to be shifted, if that 27-person entourage is to be fed and watered, and if the LearJet pilot's retainer is to be paid.

If you want that life, you can't get it by making Terence Davies movies, or appearing in too much R-rated fare (roughly equivalent to a 15). Hence, Jenny from the Block prefers to linger in banal and safe territory, offering the likes of Angel Eyes, Enough, The Wedding Planner and her latest damp squib, Maid in Manhattan. When she busts out of convention and makes something like The Cell ("not for the little girls who buy my records"), the result is still somehow spineless and empty, as if anything too risky might be...well, too risky. Apart from Out of Sight, Blood and Wine and - for bum-lovers - Selena, there isn't a single Lopez movie that won't in 20 years' time look as dated as any Elvis movie.

This is a pity, because when she lets herself go - and not letting herself go is the secret of her success - she can be an electric screen presence, warm and soulful, imperishably sexy. But she prefers to be a brand name, an all-media superstar, the name above the title and the tour headliner, with the personalised perfume, the line of clothes and who knows what else.

With Affleck it's the other way round. His career has its interesting moments, but he registers on screen as no more than a callow, whey-faced pretty boy in need of a charisma transfusion. Thanks to his early success in the emetic Good Will Hunting, for which he and pal Matt Damon won the best screenplay Oscar, Affleck was crowned the ambassador from Miramax to the mainstream, was often seen in the grey area where the indies merge with the majors, and was able to make movies on both sides of the line.

Affleck and Damon are like a double act of promo men able to pass back and forth through the supposedly porous membrane separating the two zones. Actually, their success this summer in The Bourne Identity and The Sum of All Fears, coming so soon after their indie project for HBO, Project Greenlight, seems instead to suggest that nothing at all separates indie from major - that both are different strains of the same disease of blandness, and Affleck is just a symptom common to both.

Yet, from the pinnacle of the mainstream, where Lopez sits, Affleck must look as avant-garde as Stan Brakhage. At the point where her bland movies start showing diminishing returns, she needs to associate herself with people with one foot in the oddball camp. Marrying Affleck might be a sign that she is about to refine her image into something a little more adult-friendly. And if so, then love (or career hunger) is surely blind, because Affleck doesn't strike me as an adult. We shall see how long all this lasts after Daredevil tanks out next year. I hope she eats him alive.
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Old Dec 14th, 2002, 03:35 PM   #2
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thanks for posting, I agree with a lot
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Old Dec 15th, 2002, 05:57 PM   #3
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Where does our bottomless appetite for all this vacuous crap come from? I have yet to encounter a single soul who gives even a fraction of a monkey's bum about this tedious couple and their (I'll wager) five months of wedded bliss.
CTFU! Nobody cares and stuff but you totally took the time out to write about them.
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Old Dec 15th, 2002, 07:15 PM   #4
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It is a shame that Lopez doesn't do more films like the hypnotic "Out of Sight." George Clooney took that role and ran with it, doing a bunch of surprising roles. Lopez's handlers seem to want J-Lo to be the generic peas at the market. She could be Green Giant, baby!

But no one cares about art in America anymore. It's all about commerce. Jennifer Lopez could be a revolutionary talent, if she bothered -- there has never been a more accessible Latina star. But she feels more comfortable putting out mountains of crap. Perhaps she's afraid. Look at the reaction Adam Sandler got for "Punch-Drunk Love" -- great reviews and his entire fan base laughing at him in theaters because they're immature. It's tough to break out of a persona once you've been boxed in.

Affleck, for his part, does his fair share of crass, but he still makes interesting films like "Shakespeare in Love" and "Changing Lanes" when he wants to.
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Old Dec 17th, 2002, 09:28 PM   #5
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Originally posted by Hurley
Look at the reaction Adam Sandler got for "Punch-Drunk Love" -- great reviews and his entire fan base laughing at him in theaters because they're immature. It's tough to break out of a persona once you've been boxed in.
OMG! You totally won't let me live it down that I didn't like Punch Drunk Love. Meanie! I know his movies aren't the best and stuff but when I go to see Adam Sandler I wanna see The Butcher Boy Adam Sandler, the Happy Gilmore Adam Sandler. For me it was just like going to see Jim Carrey last year with my family in The Majestic. I was kinda bored. I like Jim Carrey doing his regular comedies. If that means I've got lousy taste in movies and what not then I could totally live with that.
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Old Dec 17th, 2002, 10:06 PM   #6
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Why this torture????

Stop this kind of threads!! :-@
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Old Dec 17th, 2002, 10:18 PM   #7
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Rae, the reactions of audiences to "Punch-Drunk Love" were well-publicized before I read your post. I always say that you should watch the kind of movies you like and listen to the kind of music you like and read the kind of books you like. But if you do get stuck at a movie you aren't appreciating, don't laugh out loud inappropriately and ruin it for everyone else. Believe me, that part was not directed at you personally.
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 12:38 PM   #8
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lol at this article..I'll give the marriage 8 months..
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Old Dec 19th, 2002, 07:07 AM   #9
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I don't think J LO is as much of an archetype to something as is Jim Carrey to the dorky comedy, and Adam Sandler to the downright stupid comedy. She isn't at that stage yet where she is just repeating roles, IMO. But I don't know, this article was funny but false in many ways. Like, as much as I am not crazy about Affleck like our good friend Anabel, I find him very much the adult. He is very into politics, screenwriting and producing. He is misinterpreted. And J LO, really don't like her, however she does what she does because she has the power. And if power is that important, okay then. I would love to have that much power. The thing I just don't like about these two is that they are an incredibly odd, mismatch couple. They seem like opposites. It doesn't seem sincere. But the reason they are always in our face is because people dissect them so much anyway.
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Old Dec 19th, 2002, 07:44 AM   #10
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lol at this article..I'll give the marriage 8 months..
That long?
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Old Dec 19th, 2002, 01:33 PM   #11
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According to the Sun, J'Lo blew off the wedding.
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