When Jennifer Lopez first announced her musical film masterpiece This is me…now: a love storywas the thunderous response the same: “What the hell is this?”
“Please fucking watch this batshit trailer,” someone begged. Another praised Lopez’s dramatic narration. Some commented on the seemingly enormous budget. But one person may have said it best: “Starring in your own musical about your life should be one of the goals, like, this is basically it.”
You’d be forgiven for being shocked by the film’s trailer, which I previously described as Cloud Atlas-meets-RRRput into a Marvel Cinematic Universe blender and apparently directed by Martin Scorsese while he was in his Hugo era. It’s truly shocking, an unexpected level of visual ambition from an artist who hasn’t released a full-length album since 2014. From the teaser alone, it was clear that J.Lo wanted to make up for lost time and catch up. to her pop peers with their own unique spectacle.
But more than that, Lopez wanted to tell her story. She needed to express some things, feelings that were not addressed in her 2022 documentary Peace or through decades of tabloid research. The trailer promised a story from the music superstar’s “heart, the soul, the dreams,” and saw Lopez traveling through space, dilapidated factories, desert oases and back to the good old Bronx — call her J. L’ Odysseus. It was the kind of venture no one expected from Lopez, but one that will be welcomed when it hits Prime Video on February 16.
However, there are so many more questions than answers based on the film’s trailer alone, not to mention that This is me now the album, will be released together with the film musical. As the chief J.Lo investigator for The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, I too was looking for answers. Prior to the film’s streaming release, God smiled down on me, took my palm, gave it a little squeeze, and led me to a screening of This is me…now: a love story. Let’s see if I can’t answer some of your most burning questions.
How long is the movie?
This information is one of the most legendary things out there This is me…now: a love story‘s release, and I set out to find the truth. Ideally this would be a three-hour affair, but there’s something to be said about a classic dose of something short but sweet. The film’s official running time is listed on the Letterboxd page as 65 minutes, and I clocked it on my phone’s stopwatch at about the same time. Shave off a few minutes for Lopez’s pre-recorded theatrical introduction that accompanied my screening, and you’ll see into the mind of J.Lo for the first time in an hour The cell.
Will the film be released in theaters?
At the time of publication, no public screenings have been announced, but fingers crossed for some sort of one-night event in major cities across America. I’m not aware of the budget for this film, but from the estimate of my own two working eyes, it looks like it cost around $62 billion; I guess someone, somewhere along the way, wants to make some money from this. But this is J.Lo’s passion project, it’s probably enough for her that her big, beating heart reaches the masses. Yet there is clearly demand to see it on the silver screen. If Fergie can do it for her 2017 visual album, what doesn’t Jenny from the AMC A-List Stubs Membership say?
What’s This is me…now: a love story even about?
I am forbidden to say at a lot about the plot of those in power, but I can tell you that it is a work of musical autofiction. Jennifer Lopez muses on her life in the public eye and her childhood, but discusses these things through a common thread in her superstar romances – and their breakups. It is indeed a love story, as the title says. But it’s a movie about all kinds of love, as you’ll see. No one can say it better than Jen herself, as she did in the trailer’s YouTube description: “This panorama is an introspective retrospective of Jennifer’s resilient heart.” Damn, that’s good.
How many songs from the album are in the film, and which are they?
Seven songs from the 13-track album This is me now have extended sequences in the film, each like its own music video that weaves together a larger story. These songs are ‘Hearts and Flowers’, ‘Rebound’, ‘Can’t Get Enough’, ‘Broken Like Me’, ‘Hummingbird’, ‘This Is Me…Now’ and ‘Midnight Trip to Vegas’. Other selections play in the background of some scenes, as well as a few additional songs over the end credits, such as “Dear Ben Pt. II,” “Mad In Love” and “Greatest Love Story Never Told.” You can catch a glimpse of the shortened version of the “Can’t Get Enough” sequence in the first music video Lopez released for the album.
Level with me: What about that huge cast list of random celebrities? Who are they playing?
Ah, you mean the one with such big names as Keke Palmer, Sofía Vergara, Jennifer Lewis, Kim Petras, Trevor Noah and (of course) Mr. J.Lo and the film’s co-writer himself, Ben Affleck? Revealing too much would spoil some of the fun of watching the film – and probably land me in a freezer somewhere in Los Angeles while my blood delivers an exclusive capsule collection of Delola sprites. But I can reveal a few tidbits.
Ben Affleck’s role is completely unexpected, so much so that he didn’t even speak to me when my eyes met his. Kim Petras, Post Malone, Jennifer Lewis, Trevor Noah, Keke Palmer, Sofía Vergara, Jay Shetty, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sadhguru and some very special guest stars play integral roles in the film. They plan to help Jen through her heartbreak and guide her to the clarity she has been looking for. Everyone was clearly excited to do it for something slightly less serious than what they normally work on.
Fat Joe, as we know from closely examining the film’s trailer, plays J.Lo’s therapist. Derek Hough is one of our star’s many husbands. And Jennifer? Well honey, she’s just J.Lo. She has to play herself. After all, this is her now.