There is a pivotal scene in F. Scott Fitzgerald Gatsby the magnificent when the eponymous Gatsby, excited to revive his affair with Daisy Buchanan, exclaims to a dubious Nick Carraway: “Can’t you repeat the past? Why, of course you can!
In 2021, Ben Affleck is Jay Gatsby and Jennifer Lopez is Daisy Buchanan. Affleck and Lopez, also known as Bennifer, lit up the tabloids in the early 2000s, stroking each other on expensive yachts and making bad movies together until they broke up in 2004. And while he did It took only five years for Gatsby and Daisy to reconnect, along- Bennifer’s expected reunion spanned 17 years, spanning kids, divorces, albums, Oscars, Batmans and a whole cycle of cicadas. But for a society thirsty for nostalgia, the wait was well worth it.
Rumors of a reconciliation started in late April, when it was said that J.Lo was interested in rekindling the relationship after ending a long engagement with Alex Rodriguez. Around the same time, Affleck is said to have parted ways with Ana de Armas after a long pandemic press tour of dogs walking and displaying Dunkin ‘Donuts iced coffees. Both ultimately single at the same time, it was reported that Ben took an email to woo Jennifer, and from there it was off. In May, he was pictured driving her to Montana, where he reportedly owns a home. In June, photos surfaced of the two kissing at a dinner in front of J.Lo’s sister and children. And in a hectic first half of July, they took their kids to Universal Studios in Los Angeles before flying to the Hamptons for the fourth. Less than two weeks later, they were seen searching for mansions together. Currently, they are traveling across Europe to celebrate J.Lo.
What you need to know about Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck is that, perhaps more than two other celebrities, they are ready to engage in a dialogue with the public. Affleck’s paparazzi photos aren’t random moments of spontaneity – they are performances. As for Lopez, his own performative productions range from the simple (his recent choice to wear a necklace that spelled out Ben’s name) to the more elaborate, like his use of a stripper stick during his Super Bowl performance that seemed reinforce his dedication to his main role in scammers. The two understand that being a real celebrity is a 24-hour job, and neither of them ever ends. So while the reunion was a story of rekindled romance, it was also about putting on a show. (I believe in love, but I also believe in the power of public relations.) J.Lo and Affleck started out small, getting ‘caught’ in various forms of hugging, but recently they’ve moved on to the pure performance art. In late May, Ben was seen with a watch Lopez gave him while filming the iconic “Jenny From the Block” music video.
Then, last weekend, photos of Ben and Jennifer on a yacht emerged, lightly touching her butt, as she gazed past her happily. It was yet another even more glaring callback to “Jenny From the Block,” recalling the unforgettable scene in the video that ends with Affleck undoing the strings of J.Lo’s bikini. Writer Caissie St. Onge recently took to Instagram and the Ringing dish podcast to theorize that Bennifer is doing a blow-for-blow remake of the “Jenny From the Block” video for her 20th birthday – and the evidence is rather convincing. Either they literally remake the video or they know exactly what we want, which is to relive our teenage years. Personally, I agree with both versions.
As for what happens next, the options are endless. They appear to have served their purpose as “Jenny From the Block” (unless J.Lo decides to go back to wearing bad hats), but that now leaves the door open to more nostalgic times to remember. Below is a list of things Bennifer could recreate next – you know, in case they’re looking for any suggestions.
- Remake Gigli: Before I laugh out loud at this suggestion, what if I told you that this re-imagining would have a redesign of Seth Rogen’s script? I imagine a metacomedy with callbacks to the first movie and how horrible it was. Gobble, gobble, I smell an Oscar!
- Visit a dunkin ‘and order way too much coffee.
- Visit a Starbucks and fill a thermos too elaborate: Love is about compromise, but I don’t see Jennifer or Ben straying from their respective brands. I guess they’re just gonna have to consume twice the amount of coffee.
- Stand by a beach and gaze at the ocean while contemplating the meaning of life: It would require J.Lo to get a tattoo on his back, but I think we would all appreciate the dedication.
- Re-register ” dear Ben. «
- Do some brief frontal nudity in a David Fincher film.
- Catch a Red Sox game against the Yankees: By any means necessary, keep rubbing that relationship all over Alex Rodriguez’s face!
- Shoot a Vanity Show cover together.
- Being photographed while looking mentally during to smoke a cigarette.
- Participate in another Date line NBC special and talk about normal things, like cooking.
- Make an appearance in a Kevin Smith film.
- Take train 6.
- Take a romantic carriage ride by New York City.
- Tracksuits Matching Sport While Walking in LA: Juicy Couture for her, Puma for him.
- Go shopping for another jewelry encrusted toilet seat.
- Take out J.Lo’s Glow but for men, and have Ben play in the ad.
- Get engaged a second time.
- Go to space: OK, sure, that wouldn’t be a recreation of the early days. But after kissing in Nobu Malibu and getting your hands on a yacht in the south of France, space really is the last frontier for Bennifer 2.0. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before they call Jeff Bezos and we see a bunch of photos of them canooding inside the International Space Station.