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Everything You Need to Know About Jennifer Lopez’s ‘This Is Me … Now’ Musical Biopic

Here are all the highs and J.Los in the pop star’s autobiographical visual album featuring new songs and a galaxy of starry cameos

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Sarah Rogers

To coincide with the release of her ninth studio album, This Is Me … Now, pop superstar Jennifer Lopez, 54, this week released a one-hour Prime Video movie that includes nearly an album’s worth of music videos and a narrative arc that mirrors her personal history and all her tabloid-worthy romantic entanglements.

There’s a lot to pack in – including her on again-off again-on again relationship to Ben Affleck, 51, whom she married in the summer of 2022 (nearly two decades after the two broke off a widely publicized engagement). Yes, he turns up in a brief cameo – along with a host of other stars including Keke Palmer, Sofía Vergara, 51, Jenifer Lewis, 67, Trevor Noah and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, 65. Yes, Cosmos host and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Here are some takeaways of the highs (and J.Los) of the buzzy new project.

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What is the movie about?

The film loosely follows J.Lo’s lifelong quest for love. Or, as she said in a recent interview with Variety, “a hopeless romantic’s journey through life in her search for love.” We get a montage of her first three weddings, where the grooms seem like most interchangeable dance partners in a Bollywood-style group dance to a song aptly titled “Can’t Get Enough.” We also see a succession of romances with various partners, some of whom are physically or emotionally abusive (cue a song called “Rebound” in which mismatched couples are tethered to each other with bungee-style cords).

Lopez’s character seems to be addicted to a fairy-tale ideal of romance, to the point that her pals at one point stage an intervention – a move supported by her longtime therapist (played with some gravitas and a wry glimmer by the rapper Fat Joe, 53). It’s only after spending time on her own, getting to know and appreciate her own value, that she seems open to a partner who might be worthy of her.

The trailer teased a ton of A-list cameos – how do they fit in exactly?

In addition to Fat Joe, there’s an awards show worth of stars packed into this film. Her ex-hubbies are played by Tony Bellissimo (Step Up), Derek Hough (Dancing With the Stars) and Trevor Jackson (grown-ish). But the starriest cameos are written in the stars – a pantheon of gods and goddesses called the Zodiacal Council that watches over J.Lo’s adventures and offers wry commentary. That includes singer Post Malone as Leo, Trevor Noah as Libra, Jenifer Lewis as Gemini, Kim Petras as Virgo, Keke Palmer as Scorpio, Sofía Vergara as Cancer, Jay Shetty as Aries and Neil deGrasse Tyson as Taurus.

But this Greek Chorus of observers is dominated by Jane Fonda, 86, who famously played J.Lo’s mother-in-law in the 2005 rom-com Monster in Law and here gets all the best lines as Sagittarius. At one point, she voices our own voyeuristic feelings about watching J.Lo’s topsy-turvy love life: “It’s like a Vanderpump Rules marathon and I stop judging them and start judging myself.”

spinner image Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the Los Angeles premiere of "This Is Me...Now: A Love Story" at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend the Los Angeles premiere of "This Is Me ... Now: A Love Story" at the Dolby Theatre on Feb. 13, 2024 in Hollywood, California.
Lionel Hahn/WireImage

What about Ben Affleck?

Yes, the Oscar-winning actor-director appears in the film – but he’s almost unrecognizable in two tiny roles. Donning a dirty-blond lion’s mane of hair and a bulbous prosthetic nose, Affleck barks out pseudopsychological bromides as a cable-news host named Rex Stone (“Loving yourself means never having to say, ‘I’m lonely’ ”). Crucially, he’s also credited as a motorcycle-riding early lover, face unseen, with whom J.Lo hitches a ride along a gorgeously shot Western highway with reflective marshland on either side of it. The chopper crashes spectacularly early on, much as the original Bennifer coupling flamed out in 2004, but in the film’s final moments the pair can be seen back on that highway and speeding off toward the sunset.

Don’t miss this: 8 Things You Didn't Know About Jennifer Lopez (video)

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spinner image Jennifer Lopez holding a flower in "This Is Me ... Now."
Prime Video

What’s with all the astrology talk?

J.Lo, a Leo, is reportedly very serious about astrology. A couple years ago, Glee alum Heather Morris recalled that the pop star once cut all Virgos who were auditioning to be back-up dancers on one of her concert tours. (Ex-husband No. 3 Marc Anthony was a Virgo, so that might have turned her off to the sign.) In any case, zodiacal references permeate This Is Me … Now, and astrophysicist Tyson even spouts some dubious pro-astrology lines like: “We’re all made of stardust. It’s the unifying force that creates harmony in a world of division, a world of conflict.”

It’s worth noting that not only are Affleck and Lopez’s ex-husband No. 2, Cris Judd, 54, both Leos, but they share the same birthday: Aug. 15 (though Judd is three years older). Let’s hope this isn’t another star-crossed affair.

spinner image Jennifer Lopez and other dancers with their arms in the air in a steampunk factory in "This Is Me ... Now."
Prime Video

How are the musical numbers?

Lopez produces seven music video-style production numbers in the film – just over half of the tracks of her new album – and delivers them in a variety of styles. The film kicks off with an old-school dance-beat banger called “Hearts and Flowers” that’s set in a steampunk factory with a malfunctioning mechanical heart that Lopez and her all-female fellow workers must save via synchronized choreography that recalls the moves of Janet Jackson, 57, in “Rhythm Nation” (there’s also a nod to Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”). The final song, though, is a somewhat flat homage to “Singin’ in the Rain,” complete with umbrella and a spin around a lamppost, to the ballad “Hummingbird.” (That song plays off of a Puerto Rican fairy tale that Lopez recounts at the start of the film, a story about ill-fated lovers from rival clans who are turned into a red flower and a hummingbird to live out their romantic destiny in secret.)

Producers clearly spent a fortune to shoot these routines, from the high-end production and costume design to the CG-enhanced effects. And Lopez’s voice sounds terrific, particularly on the plaintive ballad “Broken Like Me,” which she delivers with a raw edge and simple synchronized modern-dance choreography in a group-therapy session set in a dimly lit gymnasium.

spinner image Jennifer Lopez in a scene from "This Is Me ... Now."
Prime Video

How long is it?

The movie runs 65 minutes, including about 10 minutes of credits (in which she crams in three more songs from the new album). Some of the funniest bits from the all-star cast pop up in the credits, as either outtakes or self-referential commentary. (As Modern Family alum Vergara comments, “This could have been one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done in my life.”)

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spinner image Jennifer Lopez in the arms of a man in "This Is Me ... Now."
Prime Video

Why not just shoot a couple music videos and call it a day?

After finishing the album, Lopez decided that she wanted to produce something more ambitious – joining the ranks of other top artists who’ve made visual concept albums over the last decade or so. Beyoncé is the avatar of the approach, from her B’Day Anthology Video Album in 2007 to the Peabody Award-winning 2016 film Lemonade. (In recent years, other artists like Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Solange and Sia have all released similar projects to different streaming services.)

But This Is Me … Now proved a notably bigger challenge in scope – and cost. Lopez told Variety that she had gone into the project over-budget and that financing fell through at the last minute. “Then it was that moment where you go, ‘OK, do we just make a video or do we go ahead and do this thing?’ ” she said. She opted to move forward, financing the entire film herself. (The actual budget has not been disclosed.) “Everybody thought I was crazy,” she admitted.

spinner image Jennifer Lopez standing on a subway station platform in "This Is Me ... Now."
Prime Video

What’s with the title?

Lopez announced the project two years ago, on the 20th anniversary of her megahit third album, This Is Me … Then. That record, which sold 6 million copies, included some of her biggest hits, including the autobiographical “Jenny From the Block.” So this 13-track follow-up is a kind of sequel, focused primarily on her high-profile search for a romantic partner who will stick. (By the way, “Jenny From the Block” gets a vocal callback in the new song “Hearts and Flowers.”)

spinner image Jennifer Lopez dancing with the bridal party in a wedding scene for "This Is Me ... Now."
Prime Video

Where can you watch it?

The movie starts streaming Feb. 16 exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video. There are no plans to screen it in actual movie theaters – perhaps because of the album-length running time.

spinner image Jennifer Lopez smiling while standing in a street in the rain in "This Is Me ... Now."
Prime Video

Is it on Netflix as well as Prime Video?

No! Confusingly, Netflix also has a show called This Is Me Now – but it’s a comedy special by Australia-born stand-up Jim Jefferies.

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