Jennifer Lopez redefines her love journey

Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez stands in the rain in her new movie “This is Me… Now: A Love Story.” The film redefines her journey of love, setting out to correct misconceptions that the public has heard from the media about her. // Photo courtesy of IMDb

With Valentine’s Day approaching, Jennifer Lopez is celebrating this season of love by releasing her new musical masterpiece “This is Me…Now: A Love Story” on Feb. 16. 

This story redefines her journey through love, correcting the misunderstandings and lies told by the media. Lopez begins with, “You may think you know,” referring to the public’s false beliefs about her love life. Through an hour-long musical narrative, she sets the story straight.

In partnership with Amazon Studios, “This is Me…Now: A Love Story” builds a world shaped by love — love of oneself, to be exact. Rather than a simple timeline, Lopez dances through the stages of her life and illustrates, through each song, the emotional battles she has fought. 

The intro begins with a retelling of “The Legend of the Hummingbird,” the Puerto Rican folktale of two lovers, Alida and Taroo, whose relationship was ill-fated because of their tribe’s rivalry. Desperate to escape an arranged marriage and honor her love for Taroo, Alida begs the gods to save her, so they turn her into a red flower. Taroo, still madly in love and distraught over Alida’s choice, turns to the gods for help. They transform him into a hummingbird, destined to search every flower until he finds his true love. This beautiful yet sad story acts as the motif of Lopez’s film. 

The film then opens to a futuristic factory with a steampunk-style heart hanging at its core. When the heart begins malfunctioning and love depletes, the mystery ends, and the story starts with the first song of the film.

Each song featured a completely different ambiance to match the shifting emotions of each stage of her life, the best of which were “Rebound,” “Can’t Get Enough” and “Broken Like Me.” “Rebound” tells the story of a toxic relationship built on distrust and abuse, with elements of lust and false dependency. 

The entire song unfolds in a glass house with Lopez tied to her partner alongside other abused couples in different rooms. Through brilliant choreography, the ties between each partner acted as a rope tethering them to the constant cycle of toxicity. 

The depth of emotion and relatability, especially in the mistreatment of and blame towards women, made “Rebound” one of the most moving songs in the film. 

In conjunction with the film, Lopez recorded an album of the same name. She pre-released two songs, one being “Can’t Get Enough.” Imagine a fairytale wedding with walls of flowers, especially red ones, a gorgeous dance floor and crystal adorning every table. “Can’t Get Enough” serves as the depiction of the “perfect” wedding with the “perfect” groom — or grooms as the song exposes. The colors, costumes and dance numbers radiate the bliss that society paints marriage to be. The special appearance of Derek Hough lit up the screen with his extraordinary moves and elevated the choreography of the uplifting pop song with a hint of her classic sound. 

On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum is “Broken Like Me,” a song focused on the raw, brutal struggle that arises from self-reflection. 

While at group therapy for “love addicts,” Lopez begins to speak about her dependency on feeling loved by others. As she sings through her despair, the rest of the group breaks into dance, but not one of happiness and grace. Instead, the dancers use a contemporary style  movement to embody the ups and downs of life and the feeling “broken” has on your entire life. “Broken Like Me” was a revelation. With a mundane setting of a softly lit room and black chairs for props, this lower-budget scene felt the most touching with its realistic message and performance. 

Most of the film follows Lopez switching from partner to partner like a “love addict,” as the film calls her. 

These relationships do not reflect a simple partnership but the darkness hidden from the public, especially in the scenes for “Rebound” and “Broken Like Me.” The story turns once she recognizes her lack of love for herself, for who she was then and is now.

The entirety of the film had breathtaking cinematography and extraordinary worldbuilding, bringing every scene to life through engaging visuals. 

Even with contrasting environments and a range of emotions throughout her journey, the coherence between scenes and transition between costumes makes the beauty effortless. The filmmaking lets Lopez’s movie become a cohesive whole.

Aside from Lopez, “This is Me … Now: A Love Story” includes star-studded performances from celebrities across every medium. The gods within the film are the embodiment of the 12 zodiac signs. Keke Palmer, Kim Petras, Post Malone, Trevor Noah, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sofía Vergara are only some of the many features throughout the narrative. 

Of course, Lopez also cast her current husband, Ben Affleck, as the recurring on-air reporter trashing society’s expectation of love through her journey. 

Lopez ends the film with the words, “Only you can let the love in your heart die, and you should never let it die.” 

Even with missteps and downfalls, you should never give up on love. Relationships come and go, but Lopez preaches the importance of always loving yourself.