Is the Bennifer 2.0 Rollout Too Meticulously Calculated?

The Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck reunion may be just a bit too paparazzi-ready.

CelebritiesDirt Bag
Is the Bennifer 2.0 Rollout Too Meticulously Calculated?
Photo:Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

You’ve seen the photo.

I can’t embed it in this blog, but you can probably recall it without much trouble: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck sprawled out on a yacht, Affleck’s hand firmly gripping her butt. It—of course—echoes a scene from Lopez’s 2002 “Jenny from the Block” music video, in which they do…the exact same thing.

Screenshot:Jennifer Lopez/YouTube (Fair Use)

For those who might be lacking the broader context: Lopez and Affleck spent the weekend in St. Tropez celebrating the singer’s 52nd birthday, which Lopez saw as a fitting occasion to go fully public with their relationship. After a soft-Instagram official opening—i.e., Leah Remini posting a photo of herself posing with the couple to her Instagram feed on Friday—Lopez cut loose on social media. Buried (but not too buried) in a slideshow of Instagram photos from Saturday is one of she and Affleck kissing.

But it’s the paparazzi photo, a perfect mirror image of a moment from nearly two decades ago, that’s undoubtedly garnered more attention. I’ve seen it described as a piece of “performance art,” as well as an example of Affleck and Lopez “breaking the fourth wall.” My fellow Jez blogger Harron Walker says it “feels like a psy-op!!

These are all reasonable responses, I believe, to a celebrity relationship that feels just a bit too calculated, too image-conscious, and too much like a joke on the viewer. Affleck and Lopez seem to know exactly how to play on their fans’ nostalgia—nostalgia for the aughts is on trend right now, after all. When it comes to Bennifer 2.0‘s meticulous public relations strategy, the only question is (and I can’t answer this for you!): Does it dampen the fun?

Emmy Rossum had a baby!!!! And she wants you to get vaccinated, if you have not already:

  • Scott Disick and Amelia Hamlin also went on a boat. [Us Weekly]
  • Two months after it was reported that John Mulaney and his wife Anna Marie Tendler were separating—and two months after it was revealed that Mulaney was dating Olivia Munn—the comedian has officially filed for divorce. [Page Six]
  • Princess Diana’s niece Kitty Spencer got married over the weekend to the wealthy British businessman Michael Lewis in Italy over the weekend. [People]
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