In case you somehow managed to miss the slew of Apple News push notifications and Instagram reposts from every major lifestyle publisher (god bless the social media editors who had to deal with that frenzy on a weekend), here’s some news: JLo is now officially J…Af? Oh god. We’re going to have to start saying “AF” again, aren’t we? Anyway, the important thing here is that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck got married this weekend, and it was literally the least big deal of all time. The duo, who have essentially been one of the most publicly cared-about couples for not one, but two eras in our lifetime, had an extremely low-key wedding, and it truly could not have come at a better time for the three-ring circus that is currently the wedding industry.
In an announcement shared in her newsletter, On the JLo, it was announced that Bennifer casually tied the knot at a Las Vegas chapel in a 12:30am ceremony that was apparently “super small.” JLo used the break room at the chapel to change into a dress she ALREADY HAD “from a movie,” while Ben used the men’s room to slip into a jacket he also conveniently already had, and take some mirror pics. The announcement also included a few selfies so grainy, they must have been taken on an iPhone 4. And you know what? I think that’s beautiful.
Jennifer wrote plenty of lovely things about the night in her newsletter: “Stick around long enough and maybe you’ll find the best moment of your life in a drive through in Las Vegas at twelve thirty in the morning in the tunnel of love drive through, with your kids and the one you’ll spend forever with. Love is a great thing, maybe the best of things—and worth waiting for.” Notice that, unlike all the couples you know who tumultuously broke up and got back together, JLo saved us the “relationships are hard work and I basically hate you” speil and kept it sweet. And that’s not to say Bennifer hasn’t dealt with hardship. We’ve all seen Gigli.
As much as celebrity weddings exist in a parallel universe that us Normals have absolutely no use engaging with (remember when Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries spent $10 million on a wedding for a marriage that ultimately only lasted 72 days?), I think that we could learn something from Bennifer. I genuinely believe we could all do better to consider these two a benchmark. If Jennifer fucking Lopez can get ready for her wedding in the break room of a Las Vegas chapel, there is simply no reason for you to force seven girls you went to college with, one cousin you talk shit about with your mom, and two coworkers who are definitely never going to write a good reference for you after this to wake up at 5am to get their faces beat in a gaudy bridal suite you paid thousands for.
Sure, it might sound harsh, but if it’s good enough for JLo, it’s good enough for you. On a surface level, this argument could feel like comparing apples and oranges, considering JLo has a wardrobe containing a white gown that already looks like a wedding dress, and there are probably days you root through your closet and struggle to find something appropriate to wear to guzzle down a Strawberry Kiwi ‘Rita at Outback Steakhouse. She gets to wear glamorous dresses and have her makeup done professionally all of the time. Meanwhile, the cute ivory linen miniskirt you bought last summer is still hanging in the back of your closet with tags on it because you haven’t attended a single event that isn’t attached to someone else’s impending nuptials in recent memory. With calendars full of bridal showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners and weddings, we’re all just a moment away from breaking into Gretchen Wieners’ iconic “you know I’m not allowed to wear hoops, right?” monologue, except instead of earrings, we’re mourning the outfits that used to only be off-limits after Labor Day and on the most unpredictable days of a menstrual cycle.
As brides-to-be, it kind of makes sense that we make such a big deal out of the days that are considered “ours” because we’re all spending so much time and money celebrating people who are doing the literal same exact thing as us. When it’s finally our turn, we go nuts. It can very easily feel like the only way to differentiate your wedding (and the half dozen events leading up to it) from everyone else’s is to make it bigger and better than anything you’ve seen before. But Jennifer Lopez marrying Ben Affleck with an energy that can only be described as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is a pretty solid reminder that we should all just chill the fuck out. It may seem impossible to remember a time in which our minds were occupied with anything other than wedding content, but I urge you to think back to how hard you laughed the first time you saw Bridesmaids. For a foolproof vibe check exercise, try rewatching the film. If you realize you’re siding with Helen instead of Annie this time around, it’s officially time to reprioritize your life.
The next time you find yourself spiraling over floral arrangements or scolding your well-intentioned maid of honor for showing up to a booze cruise in the wrong swimsuit, just think: WWJD? What would Jennifer do? Probably nothing that would involve a complicated Google Sheet or firing off passive aggressive text messages. Let her chillness guide the way. If JLo can be an outfit repeater on her wedding day, there is truly nothing stopping you from settling for the Etsy dupe of the infamous Jimmy Choo pearl bridal heels. Your credit score will thank you.
Image: Rich Fury/WireImage
2021 will go down in history for the celeb couples that came from it. There were rekindled relationships, rumored romances finally confirmed, and pairings that no one ever saw coming. But as we ring in the new year, we are here to tell you the couples that won’t last to see next year’s ball drop.
Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck
What a ride. Bennifer V2 has been fun to watch. Who knew a
PR stunt relationship could bring our nation together again? Coming off the heels of her public breakup with A-Rod, J.Lo needed something big to change the narrative. But no one expected what came next.
By reuniting Bennifer, J.Lo yanked A-Rod from the pop culture zeitgeist, cementing herself as the clear winner of the breakup. Ben got to clean up his image, getting back on track as a movie star and hopefully, giving up his role as source material for some of the internet’s favorite memes.
Sometime this year, well timed around a launch for J.Lo, they will amicably go their separate ways having taken what they needed from this rekindled showmance. We all owe them a big thank you, though. They were a bright spot in a tough year.
Kim Kardashian & Pete Davidson
Whether a PR stunt that went on too long or a meet-cute on the set of SNL, Kimmy is half a lawyer now and Pete’s partying ways will drive them apart before the end of Q1. Don’t get us wrong, we love sugar mama Kim. She deserves a little fun. And whether it’s Pete’s BDE or his great personality that kept Kim’s attention, this one lasted far longer than the contract Kris Jenner wrote. But it’s time for Kim to say thank u, next.
Zoë Kravitz & Channing Tatum
When these two started popping up all over New York City, we were surprised, and then delighted by the onslaught of streetwear inspo. We all enjoyed this unexpected duo serving us looks as they were photographed drinking iced coffee about town, but, just like a cute Zara top, this couple won’t last forever.
Zoë’s star continues to rise, while Channing is working on another Magic Mike sequel that no one asked for. Breakups can be hard, but at least we’ll always have those Met Gala photos.
John Mulaney & Olivia Munn
John Mulaney’s love life setting TikTok detectives ablaze this year sounds like a Mulaney bit, but that’s the world we lived in in 2021. Murky timelines and a very unexpected pregnancy later, John Mulaney and Olivia Munn emerged as a full-on couple ready to bring a new baby into this world.
They were on. They were off. They were confusing. Their relationship started in 2021 (we think), brought a baby into this world in 2021, and will be staying in 2021. But a baby is for life, so hopefully they go their separate ways amicably.
Michael B. Jordan & Lori Harvey
When Michael’s not busy being the zaddy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he is beefing up his already sizable acting portfolio. And within the last year, Lori’s built a career as more than just Steve Harvey’s daughter. We do love to see it. But let’s be real. Two people this pretty cannot mate for life—look at Brad and Angie. We predict they’ll end up blaming their breakup on busy schedules and “being at different stages in life” (which is code for “there’s a 10-year age gap”).
Olivia Wilde & Harry Styles
No pairing has ever shocked the internet more. Who remembers when Ashton and Demi blew our minds with their age gap? Well, Olivia is further proof that if men can do it, women can do it too.
Olivia and Harry didn’t give us much, but we analyzed every grainy video of her dancing at his concerts. Now that Olivia’s ex, Jason Sudeikis, is back on the dating scene post-divorce, we can finally feel good that all’s well that ends well. But watermelons are a seasonal fruit, and this watermelon sugar high will have to have a comedown eventually.
Zendaya and Tom Holland
We know. We know. We don’t want to be the ones to say it. We don’t even want to put this energy into the universe, but someone has to tell the hard truths. Their chemistry is electric. She is the high fashion queen to his short king. And after years of rumors, we finally got some confirmation that this is more than just a friendship. Or is it?
Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but look at the facts: The rumors of them dating started dropping at the exact time buzz for their new Spider-Man movie began. The movie that was positioned to save the box office and bring Americans back to the theater. Wouldn’t these two professionals do anything to be the heroes of the film industry? And how easy would it be for two great friends to share a few chaste kisses and flirt a little bit during press interviews?
Like we said, we hope we’re wrong and this one is for real and forever. But once Spider-Man numbers are in and these two start work on their next A-list project, our spidey senses are telling us this relationship will slowly fade away.
Images: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images; James Devaney/GC Image; JOCE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
“One of the most hated rom-coms of all time.”
“The movie that should have ended Ben Affleck’s acting career.”
“One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.”
2003 marked the year of Gigli, a movie with no artistic merit but major importance in pop culture history as the tarnished platter on which Bennifer was served to the world. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck met on the set of Gigli and were engaged by the time of its release, despite her being married to Cris Judd at the time of filming. The pair ushered in the first ever celebrity couple blended nickname—Bennifer. Today’s generation identifies their courtship mainly through vintage paparazzi photos and the iconic ass grab from the “Jenny from the Block” music video. The rekindled lovers reunited over the weekend, confirming romance rumors with not-at-all staged yacht photos in which Ben covered his enormous back tattoo with a button-down (as if we’d forget, Ben).
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On the tails of the couple’s Instagram announcement, I’ll celebrate the official coming out of Bennifer 2.0, but I’ll never forgive them for Gigli, the couple’s cursed love child, now 18 years old.
With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 6%, Gigli sits at the top of Yahoo Movies’ worst-rated movies of all time list. One of the greatest flops in cinematic history, the film earned $7 million at the box office against a $76 million budget. After only a few weeks on the big screen, the movie was pulled from most theaters across the country, and its writer and director, Martin Brest, has not worked on another film since.
How did Ben Affleck, having just written the Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting, and J.Lo, once named Forbes’ “Most Powerful Celebrity in the World,” come together to create such pure chaos? How is this movie that bad?
I thought I’d get better use out of my film studies minor than this, but hey, I watched it so you don’t have to.
This is a movie about a mobster named Larry Gigli, which despite being pronounced as “jee-lee,” has already been cemented into your mind as “jiggly.” Larry Gigli is instructed to kidnap a prosecutor’s mentally disabled brother under the close watch of his fellow enforcer-turned-sexy-babysitter, Ricki (J.Lo).
In his groundbreaking, never-before-seen portrayal of “Italian Mobster Who Resents Opinions of Women,” Affleck leads the film, which follows Ricki and Gigli as newfound partners in the New York mob scene. But wait—trouble is ahead for Gigli as he learns that Ricki, with her mini-skirts and blown-out hair, is a lesbian. Don’t fret—the gay agenda is no match for this early 2000s white heartthrob.
The plot details of Gigli are so confusing that not even a Wikipedia page could keep me on track. Somewhere between Christopher Walken’s early monologue as a suspicious detective who never again appears in the movie and the mutilation of a corpse, I got lost. I traced the lines on Ben’s massive back Phoenix and made my way home to the central plot of this god-awful movie.
Tasked with hiding Brian, the prosecutor’s brother, the duo lies low. Flying under the radar like any good mobsters, Gigli and Ricki drive the hostage through every street in Los Angeles in a top-down convertible. Discreet. During an unexplained pit stop at her house, Gigli introduces Ricki to his mother, who takes a liking to her, despite her being a lesbian. “Never mind,” says mom, “She’s been with fellas before, am I right, darling?”
We hard cut to J.Lo doing near-naked candlelit yoga as Gigli looks on, sporting the “I can turn her” game face. The pair begin a classic battle of the sexes debate: Gigli’s “frontier conquering” and “obstacle eradicating” penis versus her vagina, wrapping up their discussion with longing stares as out-of-place romantic music swells in the background. The romance is quickly interrupted by a call from the mob boss instructing Gigli to cut off Brian’s finger, because why not? The mafia does that, right?
CONTENT WARNING: The following section contains discussion of suicide, which may be upsetting to some readers.
The following day, Ricki’s ex-girlfriend shows up at the door of this highly discreet mafia hideout and slits her wrists. Gigli and Co. take her to the hospital, where our leading man removes the finger of a corpse in the morgue to spare Brian’s and we literally never speak of the ex-girlfriend again. After the romance of a violent suicide attempt and the aromas of the morgue, Gigli confesses his love, calling Ricki a “fucking untouchable, unhaveable, unattainable brick wall f*cking dyke-a-saurus rex.”
That’s a direct quote.
Having been swept off her feet via sexual harassment, Ricki opens herself to love and sleeps with Larry Gigli. Now, while everyone involved with the making of this monstrosity should be brought up on criminal charges, the real enemy is the writer who made Jenny from the Block turn the words “it’s turkey time” into dirty talk, having her literally say, “It’s turkey time. Gobble, gobble” as an invitation for sex. Accused of ruining cinema and the careers of two Hollywood darlings, Gigli has now ruined oral sex.
The duo is called to meet with the mob’s top dog, played by Al Pacino, whose involvement in this movie is such a betrayal it brought a tear to my eye. Pacino kills one of his mafiosos on the spot before turning his attention to Gigli and Ricki, who come within an inch of their life, only to be saved by Ricki’s feminine superpower—basic communication. The pair escape safely and leave the mob life together.
In the end, Ricki breaks it off, vowing to go “somewhere clean”—a line I’m still left wondering about. Ricki and Gigli drive Brian to the beach and, I guess, leave him there? Through tears, Gigli gives Ricki his car and, I guess, walks home?
At a painstaking two-hour runtime, Gigli is a movie about toxic masculinity winning out in the end. By 2003’s standards, a tough guy in a Zara leather shacket is an unstoppable force, and in the end he gets his girl (whether she wants to be there or not). The 2021 version of Gigli would likely end with Ricki stealing the car and—just kidding, there is no 2021 version of this mess. The tear-jerking closing line is as follows: “as far as the lesbian thing goes, if you ever think about hopping the fence, give me a call.” The two share a final kiss and Ricki drives away to the melancholy notes of a violin.
That is, until minutes later when Ricki returns to pick up Gigli and the two drive off into the sunset together.
Following production of the world’s worst movie, Ben Affleck placed multiple trade ads all over Los Angeles, amounting to thousands of dollars a pop. These ads were often taken out by industry executives to congratulate other industry names on their recent achievements, very insider baseball. Affleck’s ad was a love letter to Jennifer (married at the time), reading, “You have shown kindness, dedication, diligence, humility, graciousness of spirit, beauty in courage, great empathy, astonishing talent, real poise and true grace. It has been nothing but an honor and a pleasure to work with you. I only wish I were lucky enough to be in all your movies. With love, respect and gratitude, Ben Affleck.” Hey @Tinx, what box is this?
By 2004, J.Lo had married Marc Anthony, Ben Affleck had made out with Jennifer Garner at a World Series game, and Gigli had been forgotten.
Too often, we hear stories of star-crossed lovers parting ways after tragedy; some wounds are too deep to recover from. I can’t speak for Bennifer, but as a pop-culture enthusiast, I can never go back to a time before Gigli. Following the big-screen flop, Gigli’s ghost haunted late-night monologues and SNL sketches but was laid to rest following the breakup of Hollywood’s It Couple. The impact of this truly awful piece of cinema underscores every Bennifer headline or Deux Moi blind item. For their performances in Gigli, Jen and Ben won Razzie Awards for worst actor, actress, and on-screen couple of the year, but something tells me the combined $24 million paycheck helped the couple sleep at night.
Somewhere in the French Riviera aboard multi-million-dollar yachts, with her newsworthy six-pack and his rainbow body art (third reference in the can), Bennifer is locking eyes and thinking, “it’s turkey time.” While somewhere in Los Angeles, A-Rod is weeping.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Images: jlo / Instagram; Featureflash Photo Agency