Are Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Taking Us For a Ride? An Investigation
When Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck rekindled their romance this past April, it was a reminder that joy could still grow in the darkness. Those kids are out here sneaking around in broad daylight, leaving each other's apartments and hugging for the paps. They keep me young.
When we all first got word, there was something pure about the reunification of one of the early 2000s most prolific couples. The cast of Gigli together again, at last. But we live in the golden age of conspiracy theories (some more palatable than others), and after a while, die-hards who have set aside a part of their brain for information exclusively relevant to the year 2002 noticed something suspicious. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck seem to be recreating the past more specifically than we initially realized.
My name is Justin Kirkland, and this is: Am I Fooled by the Rocks That I Got?: An Investigation into the Possible Recreation of the 'Jenny from the Block' Music Video.
You see, this all begins in April, when Lopez and then-fiancé Alex Rodriguez released a joint statement to the TODAY show, announcing that they are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. Specifically, it said, "We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so." All's well that ends well! But a few weeks later, Page Six reported that by the end of April, Ben Affleck was being photographed going to Jennifer Lopez's house. After alleging at first that they were just friends, they got closer and closer in photos. You love to see it.
The world is celebrating, right? We need this win. Ben Affleck and that cutout of Ana de Armas he threw in the trash need this win, baby. But no. People are too smart. Too good to let us bask in our glory for too long. On May 24, on an episode of the podcast Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best, writer Caissie St. Onge theorized that, after Affleck was seen wearing the same watch from the "Jenny from the Block" music video, there was a chance that Lopez and Affleck were doing a shot for shot recreation of said music video for its 20th anniversary.
Damn you. Damn you all to 2002, where Chingy is playing on repeat.
The theory was simply that—a theory. It was a wild guess that held water, no matter how few supporting details there were. But then, on June 14 of this year, the couple was spotted eating dinner and sharing their first public kiss. The world rejoiced. Together, after all these years. But Onge noticed something different. Did this moment not reflect a near-exact replica of the music video in question? In fact, it did. Instagram fan page, @withlopez_ posted a video of the couple in the same configuration, singing along with "Jenny from the Block." Singing along? Perhaps. Recreating a music video 20 years in the future, toying with our emotions, and dangling the one piece of ripe fruit over our faces while constantly threatening to drop it and destroy our one source of celebrity optimism? Also perhaps.
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A real mind-bender, huh? Well, let's scoot on to the weekend of Jennifer Lopez's 52nd birthday. Lopez shared several bikini photos—but wait, what's that? The first public recognition of Bennifer from either one, packaged as the fourth (fourth?!) photo in the set. Like she's just photo dumping on Instagram and accidentally clicked that one? Got it. IG Official.
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Then, finally, more paparazzi photos. This time depicting a near-shot-for-shot remake of the yacht scenes from the "Jenny From The Block" music video. Hand on the ass and everything. No official shot of the infamous "time to kiss your ass" scene, but one can imagine it was probably part of the rigmarole. Here's a side-by-side, along with that beach photo from Old. Apologies for including my own tweet, like a sociopath. It was all I could find.
Anyway. None of this is Hard Confirmed, but to quote Jennifer Lawrence from the oft-underrated Silver Linings Playbook, "If it's me reading the signs..." She never finishes the phrase either, but you get the point. There are a lot of indicators that suggest that the "Jenny from the Block" music video is coming (back) to a YouTube near you. Is that a confirmation that the romance isn't real? No. But it is pretty suggestive that they're at least cashing in on the rekindled spark. Everyone's got to make a living.
Here's the music video, for those in denial. I'm so sorry. I'm here with you.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.