On Wednesday I received an email: sender “Jen”, subject: On the JLo. This is not the first “personal” communication I receive from Jen, I mean Jennifer Lopez and with me millions of other people that she feels she has to communicate something to. I admit I subscribed to the artist’s newsletter (find it here) when she married Ben Affleck at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas in July 2022, with a surprise wedding celebrated on that assembly line of quick weddings that are the chapels of the city in Nevada. The amazement at the speed of the happy ending of their second round was only equal to the observation of the readiness with which JLo made the announcement in real time, on her social networks and on her website: we got married, now sign up for my newsletter.
And so I did. On the Jlo: this is the name of the emails that arrive to users who have signed up through a simple platform with a claim keep it on the jlowith a play on words between his nickname and the phrase keep it on the down low, that is: let’s keep it to ourselves, for a few close friends. Millions of intimates.
On Wednesday JLo wanted to talk to us about The Delola life. Like all his missives, the content is apparently personal: Lola, he tells us, is my nickname, my happiest part, the one that dances on the tables, you’ll have seen me letting go with a few cocktails at times. If she makes you uncomfortable, we can’t date! The more accurate photos of the marketing campaign that launches his alcoholic, a version of spritz with various flavors, because that’s where the newsletter wants to go, are alternated with more spontaneous images of the artist dancing with a glass in hand. This is me! She vouches for it, signing herself Jennifer Lynn “Lola” Affleck.
And thus adding another element to its identity. On the other hand, it had always been via email that Lopez had announced not only that she had married, but that she had changed her surname, assuming that of Affleck, sparking debates on this custom for some patriarchal, for others extremely romantic, as if to say: “after three weddings I’m keeping this one”.
But this new booze-tasting JLo-Lola fans haven’t, pardon the pun, drunk. And to say that Jennifer Lopez is capable of making us believe almost anything. At least in the cinema where it is the waitress who makes the senator fall in love (A 5-star love), the supermarket clerk without a degree who climbs the corporate ladder in Manhattan (I’m starting over). On Instagram, where the launch of the drink was reported with the most glossy photos of the diva in Capri, the location that would have inspired the product, criticism rained down. What does it have to do, the commentators ask, with you, who have always come out against alcohol and who have an ex-alcoholic husband? Jlo made it personal and fans, or potential customers, respond in the same emotional tone, declaring they are disappointed. Why not create a soft drink instead? Why perpetuate the narrative that you have to drink to have fun? And finally: but who is this Lola? Wasn’t that the nickname Mark Anthony gave you when you were lovers?
The personal gone commercial can be a boomerang, and so is the readiness with which the details of the first yes-says in Vegas and subsequent grand ceremony at his Georgia estate were made available for consumption by fans, who with romance could even access to some purchases, had aroused a number of criticisms. But we can’t forget that Bennifer’s first round, 20 years ago, imploded precisely because of the merciless scrutiny of the media. At this round, JLo seemed to be saying, I control the information, I take possession of the communication and make money in the meantime.
I was there in 2003: preparations for the wedding between Affleck and Lopez were underway while the two stars underwent the press tour of Extreme love – tough love. I interviewed them separately, after guaranteeing the press officers not to touch on personal issues. Jen was flawless, Ben was nervous. I had seen the film the night before at Sony’s Century City Studio Lot in Los Angeles, which is where the films are made. It was a light action movie: he a criminal, she a ruthless killer involved in a kidnapping, they would inevitably fall in love. The scrutiny of the actors, even when supported by heavyweights like Al Pacino, was paroxysmal. Interviewing in such a climate isn’t easy, but I got away with it because all they wanted was that no questions be asked about the upcoming nuptials—an Arabian Nights deal that JLo was rumored to have hired look-alikes to place in locations and fake weddings, to throw off the paparazzi. Neither the film nor the couple could handle all this pressure. Affleck and Lopez broke up.
How not to appreciate then his sense of humor when it is produced in Marry me, a best-selling romantic comedy, of the marriage genre, where JLo plays herself: a mega diva, singer. actress who after many failed marriages is about to marry an equally famous boyfriend played by Maluma. The marriage fails for all to see and what does she do? She proposes in a completely rash way to a perfect stranger to get married. The stranger is Owen Wilson, in one of the typical roles that suit him well: i.e. I don’t know what I’m doing here but I’m doing it adorable. The logic of this marriage, if we really want to see one, is purely commercial: at every turn there is a product placement and a social monetization. The film is delightful and refreshingly absurd, like many of the actress’ romantic comedies.
But on the other hand, it’s not the coherence you look for in a fairy tale and it’s on the fairy tale that JLo has built her commercial empire, spritzers included.
A 5-star love, Ricomincio da me, Extreme-tough love and Marry me are some of the titles available in the Jennifer Lopez collection, on Sky Cinema