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).
View this post on Instagram
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
Today I’d like to address a very pressing matter that, frankly, is not getting enough national attention: the hostage situation that is Ben Affleck’s constant appearance on my social media feed. For those of you Gen Zers reading this and asking yourself “who?” and “but really who??”, Ben Affleck is an actor (an actor is like a TikTok star but with actual talent and the ability to memorize lines beyond 60 seconds of content). You have not seen any of his films. On the off chance that you have seen one of his films, you remember the cold fear of having to learn how to work a DVD player in order to watch it. Moving on.
Lately, Ben Affleck has been dominating entertainment news feeds in a way that no man his age has any right to. While some of us spent the pandemic cultivating our bed sores and watching The Vampire Diaries from start to finish just to feel something again, Ben spent the pandemic sucking face (or trying to suck face) with every barely legal girl in LA. There’s just something about a man his age exhibiting more thirst than my college spring break photo reel that feels like an abomination. And, trust me, I say this with love! Ben’s Boston accent in Good Will Hunting is the reason I have intimacy issues (and the reason my love language involves delicate gold chains and men whispering “sweetheart” to me in such a way that it sounds like it’s butchering the English language). I do really only want good things for the man!
But as of late his thirst levels have reached epic proportions and I can’t ignore it any longer. It’s to the point where I’m worried the fabric of the universe will disintegrate at the seams now that my Instagram feed is recommending me as much Ben Affleck content as it is Maddie Ziegler. Something is not right here, people! And so, I got to wondering, is there a larger force at play here? Is the man who got caught on camera spilling an entire staff meetings worth of Dunkin Donuts on himself actually strategically engaging in this self-destructive romantic behavior for some sort of personal gain? Is this real or a PR stunt? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
Exhibit A: The Ana de Armas Relationship
In order to understand the full extent of Ben’s year in the media, we must first go back to the beginning: March 2020. Let’s set the scene: The world is on lockdown. The only thing that comes in or out of my apartment is my wine guy with his weekly delivery of the goods. Meanwhile, Ben must be the last living, breathing guy in LA, because he is the only figure the paparazzi are constantly capturing on the streets. At this point, Ben has been romantically connected to Ana de Armas for three months. This pairing felt weird to me because of the 15-year age gap between the two and also the fact that I had never heard of Ana before their courtship (she’s never been featured on a Freeform show and she calls herself an actress?). This pairing alone would be suspect of a PR stunt… and then the pandemic hits. Now, the couple are photographed within an inch of their lives. There’s pics of them walking the dog, laughing and walking the dog, laughing and walking the dog while smelling the dog’s sh*t. At one point I was seeing more of Ben and Ana than my own image reflected back in the TV screen—and I was watching a lot of TV then!!
What makes me question the theory that this relationship was a PR stunt is that the ruse continues long after it needs to. After the summer—and the worst of the pandemic lockdowns—ends, they stay together! They continue to walk their dog and laugh when they get a whiff of its poops. They aren’t the only celebs willing to incur the wrath of Dr. Fauci for a Dunkin order, and so they become less photographed. Where things get murky is the two decide to move in together in December 2020, only to break up a month later. A life-size cardboard cut-out of Ana is found in Ben’s trashcan after the break-up. Look, I know that looks bad for Ben, but keep in mind the man once got an enormous back tattoo and was so embarrassed by it he tried to deny its existence to the press FOR TWO YEARS. Getting caught with a cardboard cut-out of his hotter, younger ex-girlfriend post-split is the kind of thing Ben would do without any ulterior motives.
Exhibit B: The J.Lo Sightings
More recently, Ben has been connected to his ex-fiancée Jennifer Lopez, following her split from Alex Rodriguez. The two have been spotted multiple times together, sparking romantic rumors even though they’ve continued to tell the press that they’re “just friends.” Sure, Jan. Look, it’s covid times, so I understand falling back into it with an ex. I have a few exes on my roster at the moment, if only because I don’t have to go through the hassle of sussing out if they’re secret anti-vaxxers. I imagine Ben and Jen are feeling the same. Not to mention, there’s nothing trendier than an aughts couple revived. The ’00s are HOT right now, and a summer of watching Bennifer 2.0. is the kind of media event that might make the world forget A-Rod’s recent cheating transgressions and Ben’s sad cardboard cut-out.
Exhibit C: Raya And The TikTok Heard ‘Round The World
And finally, Ben’s most recent offense: RayaGate. For those who are unfamiliar, Raya is a dating app for celebs and the celeb-adjacent, which apparently counts as TikTok stars now. Never mind that I’ve been applying for months. I guess “saw the back of Kristin Cavallari’s head at an Uncommon James one time” doesn’t count as celebrity-adjacent enough any more for these people. Rude!! Anyway, earlier this week a TikTok told the story of how Ben, who has staunchly denied using dating apps in the past, matched with Nivine Jay. She thought she was being catfished and so unmatched with him. Ben then sent her an Instagram DM with a personalized video to confirm his identity and ask why she unmatched with him. I’m not going to say any more on the story, just going to let the TikTok do all the explaining for me:
@nivinejaySorry Ben 🥺🥱 #raya #benaffleck #dating #fyp♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Who allowed this man to have access to a working phone!! My father, who is only a few years older than Ben, fails to grasp how Google docs saves changes instantaneously—and that’s the way it should be!! The video went viral immediately because of course it did. Again, this looks pretty bad for Ben. Surely, surely, he considered that a girl whose Instagram bio is just a shameless link to her podcast (a podcast dubbed “Swipe Left Podcast” no less!!) was absolutely going to share that video for her own personal gain. If this isn’t a desperate bid to stay relevant then it’s just… desperate. Yikes.
Look, the cynic in me would love to write all of this off as a PR stunt, and while the evidence is stacked against Ben, I just keep coming back to that fact that he’s no Kris Jenner diabolical mastermind. In fact, my favorite thing about Ben is that he constantly gets himself to the top, only to destroy himself once again. It’s an underdog story over and over, if only because the man has no sense of self preservation. He’s hapless and sad, like Winnie The Pooh but with a better jawline and occasionally six pack abs, but still always getting caught with the honey pot. You truly love to see it. Can’t wait to see what the rest of 2021 brings for him!
Images: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com; BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Welcome to the 2020 Golden Globes! While us normos are actively avoiding any human interaction after three weeks of non-stop partying and soul-crushing fights with our family members, Hollywood is getting together for yet another rager. Well, technically it’s an award show, but what would you call a night filled with 1,500 bottles of champagne, rambling monologues, awkward run-ins with exes, that all ends with a trip to a fast food joint? That’s what I thought.
This year, the Golden Globes were hosted by Ricky Gervais, marking the fifth time he’s held the honor, and his first time hosting since 2016. Now, I’m a fan of Ricky because at his best he is scathing, and at his worst he makes everyone so uncomfortable you can actually physically feel the hatred emanating off of them, and that’s a reaction I’m very used to. What can I say, you like what you know. But I can understand if he’s not your cup of tea. Well, I can’t, but one of my New Year’s resolutions was to be more understanding and it’s only January 6th, so I’m being magnanimous. You’re welcome. Anyway, this year he was better than I could have even imagined. Ricky immediately came for the people who hired him, called everyone in the room dumb perverts, and made a “Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself” joke. If that wasn’t 90% of you after three cocktails at your office holiday party, then you’re lying.
Ricky Gervais 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/z4LxMWj9ev
— Jack McGuire (@JackMacCFB) January 6, 2020
Ricky started the show off super strong, and it only got more preachy bonkers from there. So instead of a full recap, which none of us have time for unless you were fired after said office holiday party, I’ve broken the show into highs and lows. Let’s get to it!
☆ I know I already talked about the monologue, but bear with me while I just say that Ricky throwing out the line, “It’s the last time, who cares” after every insult he slung at the HFPA is a level of who gives a sh*t that we should all aspire to. (Also, special shout-out to Ricky for calling out Leo DiCaprio’s refusal to date age-appropriate women.)
☆ In toasting the three nominations for Knives Out, Ricky Gervais took an easy shot at Cats, everyone’s least favorite movie of the year: “See what happens when you don’t dress people up as cats?” Boom. Roasted. Honestly, that’s gonna be my philosophy whenever I accomplish anything from now on.
☆ Ramy Youssef admitting during his acceptance speech for “Best Performance by an Actor – Comedy or Musical,” that no one knows who he is. Fine, I’m mostly including this because he’s from Jersey, HOW DO YOU ALL SEE THROUGH ME? Hooray, New Jersey! We will take over the world like we’ve been secretly plotting! Soon everyone will be referring to their hometown by their exit on the parkway mwahahaahahahhahah!
☆ Celebrities raising awareness for the bush fires in Australia. I legit think that’s the only reason they gave Russell Crowe an award, because no one I know even saw The Loudest Voice. If they wanted to watch Roger Ailes prey on women they just waited to see Charlize Theron in Megyn Kelly cosplay in Bombshell. But really, those fires are BAD. Please help if you can!
☆ Bill Hader and Rachel Bilson showing up on the red carpet together for the first time. If you’re not watching Barry, you’re missing out on one of the best dark comedies on TV, plus you’ve yet to realize that Bill Hader is stealthily hot. And Summer Roberts deserves her happy ending. I stan.
☆ Just like at the Emmys, Fleabag won the Best Comedy Series, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge won Best Actress for her performance. These were some of the least surprising wins of the night, but sometimes the best show wins for a reason. Now that Fleabag is over, I can’t wait to see what Phoebe does next, because the world is truly her oyster. When will the world be my oyster?
☆ Succession wins! Succession won best drama and Brian Cox aka Logan Roy aka possibly the most mentally abusive father in America won Best Actor. Damn, that show is good. I actually screamed at the end of the second season when something insane happens that I won’t mention here, because I don’t want to get lit up in the comments over spoiling something that ended months ago. So I won’t spoil it, but WATCH IT ALREADY. And we were BLESSED that Brian Cox won because it allowed us the absolute best moment of the night, a Jason Momoa in a tank top sighting. It’s like someone knew we needed to start 2020 out that way.
My sexual orientation is Jason Momoa in a tank top at the Golden Globes pic.twitter.com/h0wwCl47Oa
— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) January 6, 2020
☆ Kate McKinnon presenting the Carol Burnett award to Ellen. It was heartfelt, inspiring, and also funny. However, I was confused when Ellen said that people tell her that her show inspires them to go out every day and help people, and that’s what TV should do. The TV I watch inspires me to go out there and mercilessly mock Florida. Am I watching the wrong things?
☆ Brad Pitt’s face. Whoever is keeping Brad looking this refreshed is doing a fantastic job. It looks natural even though I know it’s not, and he could get it over Leo ANY. DAY. Fight me.
☆ While introducing Jojo Rabbit, Sacha Baron Cohen joked that Mark Zuckerberg is a “naive, misguided child who spreads Nazi propaganda.” LMAO. Where is the lie? Why do I feel like Sacha wrote that one himself? This definitely made some people in the room uncomfortable, but none of the other presenters had material that good.
Sacha Baron Cohen just roasted Mark Zuckerberg. #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/lc4m9WiTgc
— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) January 6, 2020
☆ Tom Hanks. Man, has that guy been in a lot of great movies. And THE EMOTION. Over his family. And he has a kid who is a white rapper and goes by the name Chet Haze! And he still loves them! For that alone he deserves an award.
☆ The cameraman who was smart enough to cutaway to Jennifer Aniston during Brad Pitt’s acceptance speech. I know some of you might be over this love triangle, but I didn’t invent it, and the media has made me invested in it for over half my life, so thank you, sir, for rewarding all the time and dedication I have put into this relationship. Now, if only her reaction had been more scandalous. We’ll have to work on that for next year, Jen.
☆ Also, Brad Pitt for acknowledging what we all know to be true, Leo COULD HAVE FIT ON THE DOOR and that Kate Winslet is a cold-blooded murderer. I also liked what he said about being kind to someone tomorrow. And I will, tomorrow! Today I have to write this recap.
☆ Awkwafina won Best Actress for her heartbreaking performance in The Farewell, and her acceptance speech was as funny as you’d expect. When she said “I told you I’d get a job, dad,” I really felt that. Way to stick it to dads everywhere that begged us to just be accountants.
☆ So I was about to put Joaquin Phoenix’s win on the “lows” list because I find him exhausting, pompous, and a little crazy behind the eyes, but then he called out everyone in the room for being hypocrites and I shrieked. Stop preaching about climate change and then hopping on your private jets, assholes! I loved it. Good luck at the after parties, Joaquin. Leo is not going to be happy.
Joaquin Phoenix did seem quite drunk BUT telling a room full of famous people to stop taking private jets to Palm Springs….you DO love to see it #GoldenGlobes
— Tyler McCall (@eiffeltyler) January 6, 2020
☆ Michelle Williams won for her performance in Fosse/Verdon, and she used her speech as an opportunity to speak out on the importance of women’s rights, especially when it comes to abortion. She’s known for keeping her personal life very private, so to hear her speak so passionately was truly a special moment.
☆ WHERE WAS LITTLE WOMEN?!! This movie was beautiful. I laughed, I cried, I remembered how much this story meant to someone like me, who fancies herself a writer. And the HFPA couldn’t give a sh*t about this movie. Couldn’t fathom how it would be important. Barely nominated it. It makes me believe everything Ricky Gervais said about them. Oscars, your move. Are you going to make me call you sexist trash bags, too?
☆ WTF was J.Lo wearing? Girl, we already know you’re a gift, you didn’t have to dress like the Christmas wrapping paper my mom bought at Paper Source on January 1st for 60% off.
☆ Laura Dern’s acceptance speech. I mean, she was funny, and charming, and she looked gorgeous, but the whole thing was hijacked by Gwyneth Paltrow’s ass. Come on, cameraman. We know she looked hot, but this is about Laura! Maybe film the winner’s acceptance speech from the front next time, and Google pictures of Gwyneth’s body at home later on your free time. This is your job, cameraman!
☆ Pairing Amy Poehler and Taylor Swift as presenters was BRILLIANT, because as you will remember, one of the years that Tina and Amy hosted the show they made a joke about Taylor Swift dating younger guys, and she responded later saying “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women.” Which is something I still laugh about to this day because it was such an overreaction. But this presentation was a missed opportunity. They didn’t even address it! I couldn’t even tell you what they presented, that was how boring it was. The fact that they didn’t take advantage of this pairing just made it pointless. I know you had something to say Amy, YOU SHOULD HAVE.
☆ Jason Momoa put his jacket back on to present.
☆ I find it unbelievable that Unbelievable didn’t win anything. As a true crime junkie, I can honestly say that that series was a cut above the rest of the genre, and Kaitlyn, Merritt, and Toni each gave heart-wrenching performances. And seriously, WHO IS WATCHING CHERNOBYL?!
☆ Another year where the best actor in a musical/comedy was from a musical biopic. I love Taron Egerton, but if he was going to win for anything it obviously should have been Kingsman. It takes great talent to play a character named Eggsy without laughing.
☆ The presenters. As I mentioned earlier, they were all kind of nothing-burgers. Was Tom Hanks passing around his cold medicine at the pre-show?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood winning multiple awards, proving once again that Hollywood loves nothing more than to jerk itself off.
That Pierce Brosnan’s sons, this year’s Golden Globe Ambassadors, were nowhere near as hot as Pierce Brosnan.
The length. Over 3 hours?!?! Did I spend 11 hours binging the entire season of Spinning Out just yesterday? Yes, but what’s your point?
At that’s all folks! Have a good day! As Ricky says, get drunk, take your drugs! Happy New Year!
Images: Jackmacdfb ,sbstryker, lightscamerapod, eiffeltyler/Twitter; enews, betches/Instagram; Giphy
You guys, God might be real, because my prayers have never felt more answered than in this moment. For a while now, there have been rumors swirling that the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show would be headlined by Jennifer Lopez, AND. IT’S. HAPPENING. And that’s not all! IT’S. HAPPENING. WITH. SHAKIRA. Pardon me while I take a minute for some deep breaths.
Okay, I’m back. I needed those deep breaths. There’s no denying that J.Lo has had an amazing year, and this feels like the icing on the cake for her. She’s proven time and time again that she’s one of our longest-lasting, most electric icons, and this performance is her reward for decades of hard work and *hustling*. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one. J.Lo easily could’ve carried this show by herself, but Shakira is a smart addition. She brings her own set of amazing hits, incredible moves, and an energy that you can’t look away from.
Aside from me individually loving both of these ladies, they’re an especially perfect choice for this year’s Super Bowl. The big game is in Miami this year, and J.Lo and Shakira are two badass Hispanic women who have achieved massive success with both Spanish- and English-speaking audiences. Miami, with its large Hispanic population, is the exact right place for a cultural moment like this to happen.
Seriously, I couldn’t be happier about this decision, and I’m so glad that it’s actually happening. The NFL is usually a total sh*tshow of crime and brain injury, but at least Pepsi can plan a decent halftime show. This will also be a refreshing departure from the last two years, when the headliners have been boring white men (sorry Justin Timberlake, but “Sexyback” was a long time ago). J.Lo and Shakira aren’t a “safe” choice from a corporate perspective, but that’s only because most of the corporations are still run by old white men who are afraid of anyone who doesn’t look like them. But this might be the safest choice when it comes to performers who are guaranteed to put on an amazing, unforgettable show.
Personally, I’m going to spend the next four years thinking about what J.Lo will wear (spoiler: it’ll be something that 99% of people couldn’t pull off). This is going to be an epic show, and I might just have to watch the Super Bowl this year because of it. Sad!
Images: Shutterstock; jlo / Instagram
Now, before you all come for me… Is Hustlers an amazing film? Yes. I mean, I’m a gay man who’s obsessed with Cardi B, Lizzo, and J.Lo, so Hustlers could literally be a piece of sh*t spread on toast and I would still convince everyone I know to see it. Fortunately, it’s not sh*t spread on toast, but delicious avocado toast topped with perfectly ripened heirloom tomatoes, a gloriously poached egg, and a beautiful sriracha drizzle—but does avocado toast deserve an Oscar? I mean, does Hustlers deserve an Oscar? The reviews have been excellent, with rogerebert.com saying it’s J.Lo’s best work since 1997’s Selena. The Hollywood Reporter called it J.Lo’s best film to date, and Hollywood superwoman Shonda Rhimes tweeted that she only leaves her house for a movie every five years, and Hustlers is the one. For all intents and purposes, this movie is screaming “give me an Oscar,” so what’s the f*cking issue? Well, as it turns out, the woman who lived the real-life story has a major issue with it, and fittingly, like the bad bitch she’s portrayed as in the film, she’s not going down without a fight.
The film, directed by actor/writer/director Lorene Scafaria, has grossed $62 Million, tripling its budget in only 10 days, which is like…a really good ROI. (That means Return On Investment, which means that one class I actually showed up to in college did teach me something.) The premiere at the Toronto Film Festival was apparently iconic, with a 2,500-person standing ovation and guests immediately whispering that J.Lo deserved an Oscar for her performance as Ramona, the queen-pin of the strip club turned queen-pin of drugging and robbing men.
The movie tells the multi-year story of J.Lo’s character, Ramona, and Constance Wu’s character, Destiny going from making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year stripping in Manhattan before the 2008 financial crisis to drugging men and maxing out their credit cards in 2013. Cardi B essentially plays herself, with only a few brief scenes, including one of her grabbing Destiny’s hair and calling her a bitch for accidentally trying to take one of her clients on her first day, which was amazing, and something I’ve done to coworkers while serving tables before. Lizzo appears even less than Cardi, but somehow manages to sneak her famous flute playing into her scene, and Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart both are great in their roles as underling members of Ramona’s crew. One scene in particular, with a half-naked and six-inch-heeled Keke Palmer running through a parking garage screaming, had me laughing out loud, and Lili’s character’s nervous puking adds a welcome lightness to some otherwise dark scenes.
All in all, it’s a very good movie. J.Lo looks absolutely incredible, and one scene where men are tossing singles on her while she does a sultry pole dance to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” had me questioning if my sexuality actually was a choice. Constance Wu is… fine, and Julia Stiles could be played by literally anyone (I’m sorry, but it’s true). I could have played Julia Stiles’ character, and the fact that I wasn’t even discussed during casting is a catastrophic overlook, but I didn’t let that influence my thinking while watching the film.
The thing about it is, at no time while watching did I think this movie was going to garner Oscar buzz, and I don’t really know how to feel about the fact that it has. Let me be very clear about something, I f*cking love J.Lo, and if she won an Oscar I would be crying before she got to the stage, but then again my favorite movies of all time are Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, so like…who am I to be judging? After all, Bridesmaids scored nominations for Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, Anthony Hopkins won the Oscar for only 16 minutes of screen time in Silence of the Lambs, and Anne Hathaway got her Oscar for a mere 15-minute choppy AF haircut in Les Miserables. So with the rules of what qualifies as Oscar-worthy clearly not set in stone, why not consider Hustlers? I suppose that pesky little fact that the person behind the story didn’t get paid for it to be told.
The movie is based on the 2015 New York Magazine article, “The Hustlers at Scores,” written by real-life New York Magazine journalist Jessica Pressler (played by the lackluster Julia Stiles). The movie is told through the narration of the article’s main character, Roselyn Keo, renamed Destiny and portrayed by Wu for the movie. J.Lo’s character, Ramona, is based on Samantha Barbash, aka Samantha Foxx, who is currently threatening a lawsuit against STX Entertainment, the studio behind Hustlers. Samantha says she was lowballed to sign away the rights to her story, and according to her lawyer, she “unequivocally rejected all offers to be included in the film.” She claims that J.Lo never spoke to her before or during filming the movie, and she is now writing her own book about her story.
Pressler’s article and the film actually seem to stick pretty close together, with some direct lines from the article used in the film, such as, “You can’t feel bad! If we don’t do it, somebody else will do it.”
My hesitation with fully believing the movie’s story comes from the troubling fact that we don’t quite know what about the article is true. Pressler wasn’t able to fact check a lot of what Roselyn, known as Rosie, told her when she was writing it. After beginning the article by saying “according to Rosie” several times, Pressler clarifies, “I say ‘according to Rosie’ because her family did not respond to interview requests, and because Rosie is an admitted liar with multiple pending felony charges. Still, she is occasionally prone to offering up indisputable truths.” While some of the story may be fabricated, some aspects must be true, because the fact remains that men really were drugged and robbed, with one Queens strip club bartender pleading guilty last year to being in cahoots in overcharging the credit cards of two men who were drugged by strippers.
Hustlers is told in a similar fashion to 2017’s Oscar-nominated I, Tonya, with the main character narrating her own rags-to-riches-back-to-rags story while establishing an emotional connection with the audience that goes beyond whatever shady sh*t they may have done. (By the way, Nancy Kerrigan still competed in the 1994 Olympics, so like…get the f*ck over it.) The difference, however, is that Samantha Barbash more than likely won’t be sitting in the audience as J.Lo’s guest at the Golden Globes as Tonya Harding did with Margot Robbie and Allison Janney. Allison ended up winning the Oscar for her portrayal of Tonya’s mother; Margot was nominated for best actress for her portrayal of Tonya, but lost to Frances McDormand.
So aside from the question of whether or not Hustlers deserves an Oscar for the remarkable story, the way it’s been told, and/or J.Lo and Constance Wu’s performances, the fact that the real-life subject of the story is unhappy remains, and this should not be brushed over. I suppose we’ll find out whether or not the Academy will take that into consideration come February. With that being said, I would let J.Lo use me as her own personal red carpet if she wanted to.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy (3)
Stripping is a legitimate job that requires lots of different skills.
A standout moment in the movie is when Destiny (played by Constance Wu) is giving a dance and a man asks her, “What happened to you that made you do this?” This is a typical kind of question from a male customer. It’s condescending, rude, and ignorant. These dudes come into the club looking to buy what we have to offer, and they say sh*t like this, implying that what we do isn’t valuable or worthy, and that we must only be doing it because we are damaged goods. Sex work is work, and I think Hustlers does a good job of showing how it’s very much a job that requires a set of skills. You have to learn how to read and work people, how to charm people, how to be confident, plus how to walk and dance in six-inch heels. It’s fun and empowering, and it’s also exhausting. It’s a job. I hope when you saw Destiny exiting the club as the sun was coming up, you thought, “Damn, girl,” because that moment is very real.
While stripping can and should be empowering, the system it works within is broken.
The first act of Hustlers essentially shows us the working conditions for a stripper. Granted, the film takes place about a decade ago, but a lot of the industry standards remain the same. We see Destiny go through a long night of working, only to have to hand over a chunk of her earnings to her boss. Most clubs work in a way that cushions the pockets of the men in charge, and takes advantage of the women doing all of the heavy lifting. In most clubs, strippers are not paid any sort of wage. Instead, they have to pay the club for the “privilege” of working there.
I’ve noticed in the way management speaks to us, it is often implied that we are disposable and lucky to be given the opportunity to make money at their club. We have to pay a house fee every shift. In my experience, this ranges form $40-$100 per shift, depending on when you arrive (the house fee goes up as the night goes on). On top of this, you have to tip out other people on the staff, because they also make their money on tips.
And, while the first act of the movie shows how hard it can be, it eventually transforms to these women making insane amounts of money, because a plot of a movie must progress. But something I find myself often explaining to people is that stripping is very inconsistent work. Some nights I feel like JLo in the scene where she bathes in money and I take home two months’ rent in one night. Other nights I owe the club money after working the floor for six hours because I didn’t even make enough to pay my house fee.
Hustlers shows that strippers endure tough working conditions that require them to hustle hard, so instead of shaming them for what they choose to do, we should support and stand by them.
Not all strippers are trying to rob you.
Sure, this film is based on a true story about a group of strippers who came up with a master plan on how to rob some super rich Wall Street guys. But I think Hustlers makes a point to show the situation these women were in that led them to do doing what they did: a financial crash that took away their business and a need to survive and support themselves and their families. It also includes a line from Destiny reiterating that this is not what all strippers do, which I really appreciated and hope you noted. As someone who has worked at the club that Hustlers is based off of, I can say firsthand that I’ve never witnessed anything like this scandal there. This was a unique situation, and it made major headlines because of what a big, and uncommon, story it was. It is an exception.
Strippers are hustlers and we are smart people who persuade people (often rich men) to spend their money, but that doesn’t mean all strippers are going to drug and rob you. It’s an interesting story, but it is not the norm. So, please don’t watch and support this movie and then use it as an excuse to stay away from strip clubs and not support actual strippers. Hollywood shouldn’t be the only one making money off the dazzling world of strip clubs.
Sisterhood exists at the strip club.
In the past, I’ve noticed that when strippers are portrayed in film and TV they are often pitted against one another. People who have never worked in a strip club assume it’s every stripper for themselves and highly competitive. Hustlers showed audiences an authentic strip club, where yes, you should not cut in on another stripper’s client, but you also work best when working together. The only time they show the competitive aspect is when Destiny tries to talk to a man who is watching Diamond on stage. That’s not a good move, and Destiny figures that out when Diamond grabs her hair and tells her to f*ck off. But she also learns that becoming friends with her coworkers and combining their powers is not only lucrative, but essential to staying happy at work.
A line from the original article written about the scandal, entitled “The Hustlers of Scores,” says, “While evolutionary theory and The Bachelor would suggest that a room full of women hoping to attract the attention of a few men would be cutthroat-competitive, it’s actually better for strippers to work together, because while most men might be able keep their wits, and their wallets, around one scantily clad, sweet-smelling sylph, they tend to lose their grip around three or four.” This is absolutely true. Plus, working with a bunch of women who have seen your pussy is honestly a blast, and I love my sisters at the club. They keep me sane.
Strippers put up with a lot of stigmatizing bullsh*t.
While I’m proud of the work I do, I also know the world, for the most part, is not. My hope is that Hustlers will help people clock their unfair judgements about strippers. Being represented in mainstream media means a lot, and having a cast of strippers that the audience is meant to sympathize with is helpful. But I hope people don’t leave their enthusiasm and “yaassss queen” energy at the theater door. I have seen people gushing over this movie and over the cast, but I hope they realize that while, yes, JLo is a goddess, so are the strippers she and the rest of the cast are portraying here. Something I hear way too often from my clients is, “You are too smart to be working here.” They think it’s a compliment, but really it’s a belittling dismissal of the hard work that I and my fellow strippers do. You’ll notice that I wrote this article anonymously, because unfortunately, I still feel as though there are people in my life or in the professional world who would view me differently and less positively if they discovered that I do this work. That sucks. I hope Hustlers helps you see that strippers are amazing, smart, funny, clever, badass b*tches who deserve your respect. And TBH, your money.
Stripping is a form of sex work, and all sex work is work.
Nothing bums me out more than people rationing their compassion, especially when it comes to sex work. If you saw Hustlers and discovered that you respect the work that strippers do, don’t stop there. Make sure to respect and support all sex workers. Different people provide different services, and the details of those services shouldn’t dictate what respect you have for them. Different strokes for different folks, babe. No need to judge.
And please, for the love of God, remember that sex work is completely separate from sex trafficking. I’m not asking you to support the latter. I’m asking you to realize that consenting adults choose to make a living from the former, and they are often shamed and penalized for it. Let’s change that, shall we?
Images: Getty Images, Giphy (2)