23.4 C
New York
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

J.Lo’s film, ‘This Is Me…Now,’ is a glowing temple to the self : NPR

[ad_1]

Jennifer Lopez’s newest movie is a direct-to-streaming musical extravaganza known as This Is Me…Now: A Love Story.

Prime


disguise caption

toggle caption

Prime


Jennifer Lopez’s newest movie is a direct-to-streaming musical extravaganza known as This Is Me…Now: A Love Story.

Prime

I had barely cycled by my Usher-Beyoncé-Taylor induced popular culture hangover from the Tremendous Bowl when it was time to obtain the most recent providing from one more omnipresent star, Jennifer Lopez. Her latest movie, This Is Me… Now: A Love Story, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is a film musical/visible album starring and co-written by Lopez herself and directed by music video veteran Dave Meyers. It is a glowing temple to the self, disguised as a romantic odyssey — and quintessentially Lopez.

The 65-minute movie follows the tortured love lifetime of a considerably fictional model of Lopez, a personality I am going to hereafter seek advice from as J.Lo. Like the true Lopez, J.Lo is beautiful, rich and has a repute as a hopeless romantic on the hunt for her one real love. It is autofiction within the vein of Richard Pryor’s Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling, however with the silliness of Mariah Carey’s Glitter and the subtlety of the music video for Kanye West’s “Sure 2”. Days after watching This Is Me…Now, I am nonetheless undecided whether or not or not it was good, or if a one phrase summation is even a good option to assess the hour-long (and self-financed) $20 million artwork remedy session Lopez has produced.

Like lots of her most beloved films, This Is Me…Now is campy, nonsensical, and straightforward to observe. Nonetheless, for each rote monologue from J.Lo in regards to the virtues of perpetually love, just a few rays of Lopez’s real charisma and onscreen chops shine by reassuringly.

We see J.Lo hint her romantic troubles again to the Seventies Bronx of her girlhood, unpack them in remedy periods with a practitioner performed by rapper Fats Joe, and increase them by a tongue-in-cheek carousel of splashy weddings and {couples} counseling periods with numerous unnamed husbands. Weddings are a perennial theme for Lopez, who has married 4 occasions and performed a bride on not less than twice as many events for a movie. It is a phenomenon I detangled with critic Rachel Handler in an episode of my present It is Been A Minute from final 12 months.

On this newest portrayal, judging J.Lo’s relationship foibles from heaven above are members of her personal private Zodiac council, performed by Jane Fonda, Publish Malone, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Keke Palmer, amongst others. In between sparse bits of dialogue, J.Lo coos and sashays alongside to serviceable R&B-tinged songs from her first new album in a decade, aptly titled This Is Me… Now.

One standout sequence depicts Lopez overcoming an abusive relationship. This trauma is represented in literal, harrowing element, but in addition artistically, by percussive trendy dance strikes that recall the push-pull of a poisonous relationship dynamic. Right here and all through This Is Me…Now Lopez’s dancing is career-best, her staggering athleticism punctuated by evocative choreography and imaginative staging. Lopez is displaying all her onerous work, and begging us to take it severely, whilst her character lays charmingly about on a J.Lo-monogrammed customized couch, nursing a damaged coronary heart with a Barbra Streisand film.

Jennifer Lopez performs in the course of the Tremendous Bowl halftime present in February 2020.

Tom Pennington/Getty Pictures


disguise caption

toggle caption

Tom Pennington/Getty Pictures


Jennifer Lopez performs in the course of the Tremendous Bowl halftime present in February 2020.

Tom Pennington/Getty Pictures

Searching for validation, by Lopez’s account, has been a long-running theme in her life and public works. In her 2014 memoir True Love, Lopez particulars how she used her relationships to masks low shallowness. Lopez’s must be taken severely can also be expressed throughout the first minute of her 2022 Netflix documentary, Halftime, a movie through which we see her headline the Tremendous Bowl halftime present, win deserved reward for her position in Hustlers, and carry out at President Biden’s inauguration. Lopez’s prolonged and trailblazing profession as a Latina in Hollywood is a surprise in and of itself. And although the legitimacy of her singing profession has taken just a few hits over time, she has wrung almost a quarter-century of superstardom out of what’s arguably her third greatest expertise, even after dancing after which appearing had already made her a family title.

However it’s her bare need for adulation, versus unbridled inventive expression, that undercuts Lopez’s movie, and echoes our present movie star oversaturation. Lopez herself is a marvel of attract and moxie. Her lovesickness, regular ambition, and irrepressible theater child power do not repel the general public, they delight us. When This Is Me…Now leans into that sensibility, it soars. And when Lopez talks, I am listening. However when pressed, Lopez, much like lots of her A-list friends lately, appears unable to inform us a lot past platitudes about self-love and upcoming tour dates.

Lopez not too long ago informed NPR’s Morning Version host Leila Fadel that This Is Me…Now is her most private undertaking but, a tall order for somebody who’s been a tabloid fixture for over 25 years. However regardless of Lopez and her private life being the one topic the movie covers, This Is Me…Now does not truly shed any extra mild on her emotional journey than True Love or Halftime did. In contrast to Beyoncé’s acclaimed 2016 visible album Lemonade, This Is Me…Now drops no obvious bombshells or clear sufficient Easter eggs to spark flames of social media hypothesis. The movie as an alternative hits all of the anticipated beats — scorching, profitable lady seems to be for self-assurance by romance, breakups ensue — whereas rushing previous its extra revealing moments with out reflection.

In This Is Me…Now, J.Lo exists purely to like and be cherished in essentially the most common sense; first by a companion, then by herself, and at last, most significantly, by us.

Maybe we’ll get some deeper perception from Lopez’s upcoming documentary, The Biggest Love Story By no means Informed, a behind-the-scenes have a look at the making of this visible album. The trailer teases fats tears, juicy confessionals, and tense rehearsal footage, nevertheless it’s unclear what Lopez will reveal till the movie hits Prime Video on February 27. As soon as once more I will be watching, amusedly and shamefully. On the subject of the confessional temple of J.Lo, I am not disciplined sufficient to look away.

Jennifer Lopez in This Is Me…Now: A Love Story.

Prime


disguise caption

toggle caption

Prime

[ad_2]

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles