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Celebrity Slam - Everything old is new again

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Look, we tried to let it pass by. We did our best to just let things slide. “Maybe it isn’t what it looks like,” we mused. “Maybe we’re just seeing some old friends reconnecting in a mutual time of need and there’s nothing more to it than that.”

Nope. Unless everything we’re seeing and hearing is somehow totally inaccurate, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are a thing again.

We’re as shocked as you are, although the truth is we could all perhaps benefit from a trip back in time to the halcyon days of the early-00s, when boy bands still roamed the Earth, Amazon only sold books and social media wasn’t really a thing yet.

(Of course, it also means that this gig – our gig – wouldn’t really exist yet, but we’re willing to make that sacrifice for the greater good. As our main man Spock once said, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. We’ll take that hit.)

Our adoration for celebrity romance knows no bounds, but we were VERY cautious about this one. You don’t want to scare them off, you know? But with Ben visiting J-Lo in Miami and getting extremely cozy in an extremely public way, well …

*breaks glass*

THIS IS NOT A DRILL! WE ARE GO! BENNIFER IS BACK, BABY! BENNIFER IS BACK!

(Obviously, this isn’t to confuse Bennifer the First – the Affleck/J-Lo connection – with Bennifer the Second – Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Just a point of clarification.)

Anyway – so these two lovebirds appear to be heating things back up some 20 years after they first got together. First it was the canoodling in Montana, then the hanging out in Miami and the public displays of affection. It really does seem like this is happening.

But is it a good idea?

We should start by going back in time and looking at how this whole thing started.

The two got to know one another when they were filming the now-legendary flop “Gigli” back in late 2001. At the time, J-Lo had recently married Cris Judd, a former backup dancer she had met on the set of the video for “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” Both were adamant that there was no romance at the time, what with J-Lo being married. As to whether we believe them? Who can say?

Things got weird in April of 2002, when Affleck took out ads in the trades gushing about working with J-Lo on the film. He claimed it was an effort to defuse the at-the-time sentiment that J-Lo was a diva and difficult to work with, but come on. Giant ads talking about how great someone is? We know what that’s about.

In July, J-Lo files for divorce. Not long after, she and Affleck go public with their relationship. We get the legendary “Jenny from the Block” video in November. They were also filming “Jersey Girl” during that stretch and their engagement was confirmed via a Diane Sawyer special.

Through the next year, they made the rounds as a famous couple. But when “Gigli” dropped (and sucked) in August of 2003, things got weird. They wound up postponing the wedding set for that fall. And then, in January of 2004, it was over.

Until it wasn’t.

Will it last this time? Hard to say – they’re both very different people than they were two decades ago. But maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe they’ve grown in the ways that they need to grow in order to make this thing work. Both have conceded that the public nature of their relationship contributed to its end, but while that media attention will still be there, they’ve both had nearly 20 years to get better at handling it. And hey – back then, they were the only game in town. Now, celebrity gossip is a stratified space. They’ll probably have considerably less to deal with this time.

We’re not going to call them Bennifer, though. Or Bennifer 2.0, which sucks. We’re going to give them a new portmanteau in honor of their new start. No need to rehash the past with this renewed relationship.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, we give you: J-Fleck. Here’s hoping these two crazy kids can make it work this time around.

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 May 2021 06:09

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