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  • Writer's pictureRua Fay

What on Earth Is J-Lo's Movie Even About?

This week marked the released of Jennifer Lopez's new project on Amazon Prime titled This Is Me...Now, followed by an accompanying album of the same name. The reason I say "project" is because even after watching it, I'm still not entirely sure what it is. Is this a movie? A music video? An autobiography? A visual album? Or just one long, elaborate advertisement? It's only an hour long, not the typical length of a feature film, but it's far too long to be a simple music video or commercial, so what exactly is going on here? When the trailer first released not too long ago, thousands of people flocked to Twitter to talk about what they just saw, or more accurately, ask "what the hell was that?" So for those who do not have Amazon Prime, or simply cannot be bothered to sit through all 50 minutes of this self-indulgent nonsense, here I am to sum it up.

The film starts with an animated segment where Jennifer Lopez (credited as "Artist") explains the Puerto Rican folk tale of Alida and Taroo, a love story where Taroo is turned into a hummingbird. This is then immediately followed by a sequence of her riding on the back of a motorcycle with a faceless man that bears a striking resemblance to Ben Affleck. Suddenly, the motorcycle crashes and the scene immediately shifts to a steampunk dystopian "Heart Factory" where J-Lo and millions of workers in hazmat suits have to work on maintaining a huge mechanical I'm not kidding. The first song begins as J-Lo and company work on assembly lines and smear themselves with mud in an attempt to keep the heart from breaking, all while aggressively dancing. If there's ever been a more heavy-handed metaphor, I haven't seen it. However, all these efforts are made in vain as the heart eventually ends up powering down. If you thought that was crazy, the next scene is just as baffling.

After a baffling editing sequence, it is revealed that J-Lo is actually in a therapy session, and has been discussing her "recent dreams" with her therapist...Fat Joe. J-Lo then inexplicably asks what his zodiac sign is, in some strange, futile attempt at dialogue. Without any warning, we cut to another dystopian reality where J-Lo is living in a mansion made entirely of glass, she draws a libra symbol in the fog on the glass. An actor credited only as "the new guy" comes into the scene where him and J-Lo proceed to have a weird fight scene where its clear that the intention was to be sexy. This is all where the next song plays out. By the end, we see J-Lo leaving the glass house saying one phrase: "fuck libras." Was it a good music video? No, but it was certainly better than the last one.

Now, when I tell you what happened in the next scene I need you to understand that I am being 100% serious. Everything I am about to recount was something that was actually shown on screen. The camera zooms out from J-Lo, eventually overlooking the planet Earth, we are then introduced to a council of different celebrities, representing different zodiac signs. Can you tell J-Lo is a big fan of astrology by now? Among these zodiac signs are Trevor Noah, Jane Fonda, Post Malone, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lewis, Keke Palmer, Kim Petras, and perhaps the most baffling of all: Neil deGrasse Tyson. No, I'm not kidding. For a project with an Amazon-caliber budget, the green screen is ASTONISHINGLY bad, almost as bad as Post Malone's attempt at acting.

We now cut back down to Earth to see J-Lo getting proposed to on a random cliff, immediately followed by a wedding scene. Who's the lucky man, you ask? He goes by the glamorous moniker, "Husband 1." Then the scene miraculously changes to ANOTHER completely different wedding, where Derek Hough plays "Husband 2." If you weren't reading the credits or paying close enough attention to the changing dresses, you'd have no idea these were separate weddings. Then shots go back and forth showing Husband 2 and now Husband 3 because different sets and timing apparently don't exist anymore.

I know exactly what you're thinking, "I want another scene of Fat Joe playing J-Lo's therapist." Well fear not, because it's here, this time he's playing a couples' counselor to J-Lo and her ever changing roster of husbands, all while wearing an absolutely baffling blouse with a combination of Adidas and Gucci logos on it. After a few more brief scenes of the Zodiac council, J-Lo watching a Barbra Streisand Movie, and another teary-eyed therapy session, we are treated to a scene where J-Lo's friends stage an intervention because they believe Jennifer is a sex addict. After the intervention comes group therapy scene where Ms. Lopez and a dozen other people sit in a high school gymnasium, talking about their struggles with sex addiction which turns guessed it...another elaborate, choreographed music video. It's in poor taste, obviously, but what makes it even more infuriating is that the song is titled "Broken Like Me," and reads like a multi-millionaire, internationally beloved celebrity complaining about being bad at dating, which it is. Talk about tone deaf.

About forty minutes in we get a scene that is clearly meant to be emotional and heartfelt but comes across as ham-fisted and weird. J-Lo meets her younger self, they have a tear-filled argument about J-Lo not loving herself enough and then proceed to frolic around the city. By this point you've probably been missing that heart factory scene, well don't worry because you get another one. Instead of working in ash and mud, the factory workers are now piling rose petals on a conveyer belt to power up the big mechanical heart, This probably would have been a perfect point to end the movie and put the audience out of their misery but alas, that would simply be too merciful, there are still twenty goddamn minutes left of the runtime.

The next song, "Midnight Trip to Vegas" seems like it would have a fairly simple setting judging by the title, but of course it doesn't. This music video takes place in a magical world that looks like a cross between Egypt and Pandora from Avatar, but replace all the trees with wicker furniture from Homegoods. The song is forgettable and the video is baffling.

For the final song, J-Lo recreates the iconic scene from Singin' In The Rain where Gene Kelly sings the title number in a torrential downpour. She spots a hummingbird while dancing, reminding her of the folktale Alida and Taroo from the film's beginning. She is once again on the back of a motorcycle, riding off into the distance.

What the hell did I just watch?

This Is Me...Now is barely a film, and it's also downright unwatchable for anyone who's not a cult-level J-Lo fan. I don't want to mince my words, it's terrible, but there was obviously a very talented crew that worked on it. After all, its directed by Dave Myers, one of the most legendary music video producers of all time. But beyond the occasionally striking visuals, This Is Me...Now is just a one hour long self-indulgent ego trip from J-Lo, and despite the title, I still have little clue who she is or what she stands for. I didn't think it was possible but the full length project ended up being just as confusing as the trailer. The only way I'd recommend this is if you want to have a good laugh with your friends, other than that, stay away.

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