Jennifer Lopez Is in Her Flop Era — and It’s Our Fault

It’s official: Jennifer Lopez is in her flop era. At least if the internet has anything to say about it. The Hollywood A-lister has been going through it lately, especially in the court of public opinion.

According to the headlines, memes and general internet chatter, J.Lo is basically the worst. She’s an ambition monster! She’s a narcissist! She can’t sell any seats to her world tour! Her marriage is in shambles!!! With the recent news that Jenny from the Block has cancelled her upcoming “This Is Me…Live: The Greatest Hits” world tour in order to “‘be with her children, family and close friends,” the rumours — and vitriol — surrounding the multi-hyphenate have gone into overdrive.

We don’t have anyone to blame for J.Lo’s apparent downfall than ourselves. Because it’s the public’s unreasonable and unattainable expectations of Jennifer Lopez that got her here. Below, everything to know about the Jennifer Lopez flop era, and why her fall from grace is all our fault.

Jennifer Lopez’s Amazon movie and documentary were… not well received

Before there was the now ill-fated “This Is Me…Live: The Greatest Hits” tour, there was the equally ill-fated This Is Me…Now: A Love Story musical movie. In February, Lopez released what can only be described as a Cats-level fever dream of a musical movie loosely based on the singer’s infamous love life.

If it sounds a little wacky, that’s because it was. Featuring a bevy of stars like Keke Palmer, Sofia Vergara, Jay Shetty and — if you can believe it — Jane Fonda as narrators, it follows J.Lo’s romantic journey as she falls in and out of love with various partners and ultimately falls in love with *spoiler alert* herself. The movie, which was co-written by Lopez and her husband Ben Affleck, along with co-writers Dave Meyers and Chris Schafer, came across for many as maximalist “vanity project” and a bit of a hot mess rather than an earth-moving magnum opus.

This sentiment that was only reinforced with the release of The Greatest Love Story Never Told, the complimentary Amazon Prime documentary that gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Lopez’s movie, because yes, the project was entirely self-funded. (While there’s no confirmation on the exact chunk of change the songstress doled out, reports say it was about $20 million to finance). “Everybody thought I was crazy when I said I would do it,” Lopez told The Hollywood Reporter in a February interview ahead of the movie’s release. “We did have financing, and then that fell out. They pulled out at the last minute, and then it was that moment where you go, ‘OK, do we just make a video or do we go ahead and do this thing?’”

While we’re all here for women banking on themselves both literally and figuratively, the movie musical and accompanying documentary may have pulled back the curtain on Lopez a bit too much for viewers. While the films revealed lovely intimate moments between the singer and her husband Affleck, they also included some cringe-worthy moments that highlight J.Lo’s inability to see beyond her own experience, not to mention understand how the public perceives her.

This becomes increasingly apparent when, in the doc, Lopez asks celebrities like Lizzo, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Jason Momoa, Jennifer Coolidge (who has famously said she would play a dolphin) and her friend Vanessa Hudgens to appear in small roles in This Is Me…Now: A Love Story, only to be repeatedly turned down. Lopez explains these rejections away, saying the famous faces turned her down because “they’re scared.” Scared of what, we’re not quite sure (maybe bad ratings?), but J.Lo ignored these glaring red flags and pressed on making her musical vanity project.

J.Lo’s tour has been tumultuous

Just months after the release of her first studio album in 10 years, Lopez announced her “This Is Me…Live: The Greatest Hits” world tour.  It was meant to be the grand finale on this era of her career, heralding her ultimate musical comeback as she toured the world — that is, until it was cancelled.

Before its ultimate cancellation, Jenny’s tour was struggling. In March, it was reported that seven tour dates across the United States had been quietly cancelled, no longer appearing on Ticketmaster. Less than a month later, in early April, the singer rebranded the tour from “This Is Me…Now: The Tour” to “This Is Me…Live: The Greatest Hits.” While unconfirmed, reports said that the changes were due to low ticket sales and the rebrand was presumably to draw in lifelong fans.

And then, on May 31, in a newsletter published on her personal website, Lopez announced the tour’s cancellation. In a note to her fans, Lopez said of the news: “I am completely heartsick and devastated about letting you down. Please know that I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t feel that it was absolutely necessary. I promise I will make it up to you and we will all be together again. I love you all so much. Until next time…”

Lopez’s marriage to Ben Affleck is reportedly on the rocks

Reported discord within Lopez’s fourth marriage to former fiancée Ben Affleck is arguably the biggest (and saddest, if true) flop of all. You know the story: Previously engaged in 2002, the former couple rekindled their romance in 2021, getting engaged and secretly married the following year. It was seemingly bliss! Affleck was the king of Dunkin’ and Lopez the queen of love. But in May of this year, rumours started swirling that all was not peachy in the couple’s marriage. On May 16, People reported that the famous couple hadn’t been spotted together in 47 days. Later that day, TMZ revealed that Affleck had reportedly moved out of the couple’s Hollywood Hills home.

Many of the reports are similar, citing their reason for separation not as irreconcilable differences or infidelity, but rather the fact that Jenny from the block is a workaholic. Excuse us while we roll our eyes.

In response (or maybe just because they’re living their lives), Affleck and Lopez have been a united front in public lately, holding hands while attending Affleck’s son Samuel’s basketball game. But with the announcement of her tour cancellation, fans and foes of the star are waiting with bated breath for the impending divorce announcement.

There’s a reason J.Lo’s downfall is our fault

Honestly, can we please leave this poor woman alone? Most of the criticism levelled at J.Lo lately revolves around the notion that her earnestness comes across as hokey and out-of-touch. She’s trying too hard (as evidenced in the much-maligned “73 Questions” video she did with Vogue last year that resurfaced after her doc came out) and the young generations that value authenticity are calling it out as BS.

Another way of looking at the situation? We’re witnessing the tribulations of a mature, over-50 woman working hard to remain relevant in a fickle and sexist industry that’s consistently telling her she isn’t. The reality is that for women in Hollywood who are over a “certain age” (i.e. deemed undateable by Leonardo DiCaprio), life in the spotlight can feel like an uphill battle, with older actresses relegated to playing grandmothers and literal witches and increasingly younger pop stars breaking out. So, can we really fault J.Lo, a woman who has spent the majority of her life in the limelight, for trying to retain her relevancy?

It turns out we sure can fault her for trying. Because, like it or not, much of the public gets a thrill from watching powerful women flail (and fail), delighting when they take the wrong professional risks in a way we never would with men in the same situation. We’ll whisper about it, snicker at it and, in some cases, make it happen out of nowhere.

Just look at the treatment of Anne Hathaway. In 2012, years before her pop culture renaissance, Hathaway went through a public flop of her own in the time period surrounding her Oscar win. The actress, seen widely as America’s sweetheart up until then, cut her hair into a pixie, became more adventurous with her clothing, was at the height of her career and people suddenly hated her.

Sound familiar? With both Hathaway and Lopez, it feels like the same story: A powerful, once-beloved female celebrity gets a little too comfortable, has some cringe-worthy moments and the public waits (and even hopes) for their fall from grace.

In reality, as writer Jennifer Romolini wrote in a recent article for The Cut, maybe we should be reframing J.Lo’s situation and showing the star a little sympathy — as an ambitious woman who’s gotten everything she’s worked for, only to realize it’s not enough. And in the eyes of the public, maybe it never will be.

The post Jennifer Lopez Is in Her Flop Era — and It’s Our Fault appeared first on FASHION Magazine.

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