Tripping through J.Lo-land: Unpacking the singer’s most insane project yet

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Published Feb 23, 2024 at 02:39 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

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If you had told me that 2024 would include the Jennifer Lopez releasing a film that is one component of a three-part, $20 million self-financed multimedia project that examines her life as a serial romantic and also includes an album of the same name, as well as a documentary, well… I would have believed you. Defying expectations is sort of J.Lo’s thing.

Step into the fantastical world of J.Lo-land, where the queen of pop culture takes us on a wild ride through her trippy musical odyssey, This Is Me… Now. Released alongside a new album and the upcoming documentary The Greatest Love Story Never Told, the movie premiered on Amazon Prime on 16 February. The 53-minute visual spectacle, accompanied by a 10-minute-plus credits sequence, is a unique blend of music and dance that had everyone go ‘What the heck did I just watch?’…

From the get-go, This Is Me… Now is an immersion into Lopez’s world, with a dream sequence featuring her heart as a giant, combustible apparatus operated by dancing factory workers fueled by rose petals.

The film kicks off with the singer narrating the Puerto Rican myth of Alida and Taroo, a tale of star-crossed lovers transformed into a red flower and a hummingbird, reminiscent of the tabloid-fueled saga of Bennifer. It’s a story that appears ready-made for memes, with quips about Lopez and the mysterious aura of Ben Affleck, in a blonde wig and a southern accent, playing a lively news anchor.

The green screens in the movie are truly the unsung heroes of the entire production, turning every scene into a wild visual ride. Whether J.Lo is revving up a motorcycle, navigating a spaceship, or dancing through a tumultuous relationship, the backdrops make sure not a single strand of hair is out of place—she’s truly the goddess of her own cinematic universe, and not even the green screen can mess with her perfection.

From reimagining her ill-fated marriages to making amends with her younger self, J.Lo’s entire performance is a seamless blend of song and dance, all alluding to the singer’s personal history. Interestingly, the soundtrack and dance moves, plucked from her new album transform the experience into a musical on steroids—a dazzling show that’s more Broadway than your typical film fare.

@jlo

Got hella haters and they hella mad 😉 ♥️ & 🌹 Listen to ThisIsMeNow…NOW! linkinbio to listen

♬ original sound - JLO

Throughout the movie, in certain segments, you’ll find that the bewilderment factor reaches peak intensity when Fat Joe takes on the role of Dr. Melfi. A personal favourite also includes the segment where celebrities Jane Fonda, Trevor Noah, Keke Palmer, Post Malone, Kim Petras, and Neil deGrasse Tyson all transform into different astrological signs.

@texpatpat

#thisismenow #jlo #amazonprime #whattowatch #fyp

♬ original sound - texpatpat

Let’s be honest, Lopez isn’t exactly known for being at the forefront of musical trends; rather, she often finds herself in places where music has recently been. This tendency, as seen in her recent project, might be leaving her somewhat out of sync or stranded in the ever-changing world of the industry. Could this be a reason behind the creation of this movie? Is the star looking to assert her relevance?

Even when it comes to her personal life, it’s a whirlwind of confusion rather than a revelation. The fast-paced, CGI-on-steroids production feels like a deliberate diversion, strategically steering the audience away from the realisation that there’s nothing new to discover about Lopez’s love life. I mean, could this be the reason why since being reunited with Affleck in April 2021, Lopez has graced numerous red carpets, collaborated with her beau on Dunkin’ commercials, and even orchestrated a yacht rendezvous to recreate a moment from the ‘Jenny From the Block’ music video for the paparazzi.

The film’s existence raises questions about Hollywood’s reluctance to see J.Lo as more than a commercial star, prompting thoughts of whether this elaborate project serves as a form of validation. Or is this just an intricate ploy to have us all impulsively purchase her new album? Either way, the strategy is working—social media is ablaze, and we’re all left with the same question: What did I just watch?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to this question—J.Lo’s world remains an enigma, a kaleidoscopic journey that only the singer could orchestrate. As we try to unravel the mysteries of love alongside J. Lo, one can’t help but appreciate the sheer audacity of this venture, making it one of the most unforgettable and eccentric movies of 2024.

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