Jennifer Lopez’s Triumph: The Greatest Love Story Never Told Rewrites Critics’ Expectations

Bintano
12 Min Read

Jennifer Lopez’s The Greatest Love Story Never Told has received early rave reviews as critics praise the ‘raw and vulnerable’ offering.

The Prime Video doc is the third installment of her $20M media homage to her husband Ben Affleck, which includes the semi-autobiographical film, This Is Me… Now: A Love Story, chornicallingher highly scrutinised love life.

The film, which was released earlier this week, was a dubbed a ‘musical rom-com action sci-fi’ that served as a visual accompaniment to her single, This Is Me… Now.

The companion piece was panned for its ‘truly chaotic’ plot, while others slammed the star for spending so much on the self-funded¬†‘vanity project’.

However, the response so far to the third part of the project has been surprisingly positive in comparison, as critics branded the doc ‘compelling’, and say it ‘delivers precisely the revelatory perspective that its counterparts lack.’.

Those around J-Lo encouraged her to ditch the project, as many of her celebrity pals declined to be involved in her film and even her husband Ben tried to sway her.

Jennifer Lopez's The Greatest Love Story Never Told has received early rave reviews as critics hail the 'raw and vulnerable' offering

Jennifer Lopez’s The Greatest Love Story Never Told has received early rave reviews as critics hail the ‘raw and vulnerable’ offering

The Amazon Prime doc is the third installment of her $20M media homage to her husband Ben Affleck , which includes the semi-autobiographical film, This Is Me... Now: A Love Story, chornicallingher highly scrutinised love life

The Amazon Prime doc is the third installment of her $20M media homage to her husband Ben Affleck , which includes the semi-autobiographical film, This Is Me… Now: A Love Story, chornicallingher highly scrutinised love life

While JLo is hellbent on declaring her love for Ben, she admits her husband is ‘uncomfortable’ being her muse, while the actor, 51, openly confesses he finds their moments together ‘sacred and special because it’s private’.

But, it looks like Ben and the others will be left eating their words following the release of the third and final part of the album-cycle media offensive.

This Is Me… Now: A Love Story, which currently has a 95 per cent score, on Rotten Tomatoes, was described as ‘indecently compelling, by The Times.

A review in the publication, which awarded it four stars, admitted: ‘It’s not quite warts and all: Lopez is far too canny a myth-maker for that.¬†

‘But it’s nonetheless a revealing reminder of the kinks and cracks that made the Bennifer saga so engrossing in the first place.’¬†

Meanwhile, said Variety¬†the in depth look at JLo’s life exposes ‘her ambitions, responsibilities and insecurities with a merciless but deeply rewarding rawness.’

The reviewer comments that the project – which originally had a budget of $30million reduced to $20million once the singer had to finance it herself – was ‘surprisingly candid’ for lifting the curtain on the struggles she had producing it.

While This Is Me.. Now: A Love Story was ill received by critics, the review stated that the ’emotional weight of the latter deepens the entertainment value of the former.’

The film, which was released earlier this week, was a dubbed a 'musical rom-com action sci-fi' that served as a visual accompaniment to her single, This Is Me... Now

The film, which was released earlier this week, was a dubbed a ‘musical rom-com action sci-fi’ that served as a visual accompaniment to her single, This Is Me… Now¬†

However, the response so far to the third part of the project has been surprisingly positive in comparison, as critics branded the doc as 'compelling'

However, the response so far to the third part of the project has been surprisingly positive in comparison, as critics branded the doc as ‘compelling’

The critic said: ‘Harnessing not just the drive that made her a superstar but the fragility (especially personal) inherent in its maintenance…

‘Jason Bergh’s film accomplishes something unexpected: offering audiences a truly new way to look at her.’

In the documentary, Jennifer burst into tears as she confessed what her husband made her see in herself was ‘moving’.

Welling up, she revealed: ‘What he said and what he saw in me, and what he made me believe about myself, only comes from love.¬†

‘Because nobody else could have made me see that about myself. It’s very moving.

‘Because I didn’t think much about myself and so the world didn’t think much of me. That lined up.’

She said of their reunion: ‘We’re totally different people now and we’re the same and we have the same love 100 percent. Like I’d never fallen out of love with you. I had to just put it over here.’¬†

The Daisy Beast said that the second Prime Video offering was ‘so much more than just a glorified episode of MTV’s Making the Video.’

The review read: ‘The Greatest Love Story Never Told is a glowing shrine to narcissism and its many casualties, a truly admirable documentary about never giving up, no matter how many people tell you that you’re draining your bank account for no reason.¬†

‘It’s that question that shrouds¬†The Greatest Love Story Never Told:¬†: How much of this is sincere, and how much of it is a calculated inclusion meant to convince the audience of J.Lo’s prowess?¬†

‘For my money, the documentary is far more the former than the latter. There’s no good reason for Lopez to include several scenes where her famous friends and industry colleagues decline to make a cameo appearance in the film.¬†

‘I popped some new batteries in my bullshit detector and came away with nary a beep. There is an earnestness here that is threaded through the other two Jennifer Lopez projects that closely accompany it’

Jen and Ben’s love story started in 2002 when they dated while filming the movie Jersey Girl. They became engaged the following year but broke up in 2004.

Yet it was meant to be for the couple, known collectively as Bennifer, who found their way back to one another in July 2021, marrying just one year later.

They detailed the highs and lows of their rekindled romance in the new documentary, with Ben revealing he initially asked his wife to keep their relationship offline when they decided to give things another ago.

While navigating their¬†reconciliation, two decades following their first engagement, the two-time Oscar winner admitted he had zero interest in becoming a fixture on his wife’s social media accounts.

‘Getting back together, I said, ‘Listen, one of the things I don’t want is a relationship on social media,’ the actor recalled.¬†

‘Then I sort of realized it’s not a fair thing to ask. It’s sort of like, you’re gonna marry a boat captain and you go, “Well, I don’t like the water.”‘

He continued: ‘We’re just two people with different kinds of approaches trying to learn to compromise.’

Ultimately, Jennifer respected his wishes, and has only posted a small handful of snaps featuring him, including a¬†raunchy shirtless photo last Father’s Day and a sweet video of them¬†singing Sam Cooke’s (What A) Wonderful World in the car on his birthday.

During the documentary, the mother-of-two acknowledged his discomfort with stepping in the spotlight as a couple after facing intense media scrutiny when they first dated between 2002 and 2004.

‘I don’t think [Ben] is very comfortable with me doing all of this,’ she said.¬†

‘But he loves me, he knows I’m an artist, and he’s gonna support me in every way he can because he knows you can’t stop me from making the music I made‚Ķ he doesn’t want to stop me. But that doesn’t mean he’s comfortable being the muse.’¬†

THE GREATEST LOVE STORY NEVER TOLD: CRITICS REVIEWS 

The Times

It’s not quite warts and all: Lopez is far too canny a myth-maker for that. But it’s nonetheless a revealing reminder of the kinks and cracks that made the Bennifer saga so engrossing in the first place.¬†

Variety

But ‘The Greatest Love Story Never Told¬†,’ the third part of her album-cycle media offensive, delivers precisely the revelatory perspective that its counterparts lack.

Directed by Jason Bergh, the documentary explores the complicated production of ‘A Love Story,’ in the process exposing a global superstar’s ambitions, responsibilities and insecurities with a merciless but deeply rewarding rawness.

The production details themselves are surprisingly candid, starting with the original price tag of $30 million ‚ÄĒ later trimmed to $20 million after she is forced to finance it herself.

Though ‘A Love Story’ and ‘Never Told’ were designed to be companion pieces, the emotional weight of the latter deepens the entertainment value of the former.¬†

Harnessing not just the drive that made her a superstar but the fragility (especially personal) inherent in its maintenance, Jason Bergh’s film accomplishes something unexpected: offering audiences a truly new way to look at her.

Daily Beast

Lopez is laying it all out here, and the degree to which she is willing to obliterate her ego in service of her art is, at times, sincerely striking‚ÄĒespecially given that it is a tribute to her own resilience.

That’s the thing about the film: I popped some new batteries in my bullshit detector and came away with nary a beep. There is an earnestness here that is threaded through the other two Jennifer Lopez projects that closely accompany it.¬†

It’s clear that Lopez is through with the artifice of celebrity, and is now only interested in living transparently‚ÄĒalbeit with all of the glitz and glam that follow someone in her tax bracket. You can’t watch this documentary and deny its self-importance, but refuting Lopez’s passion is just as difficult. For her, vanity and honesty walk hand in hand. And how refreshing it is to watch a celebrity stop pretending that’s not the case.

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