Documentary Review: The Greatest Love Story Never Told (2024) **

Have you ever wished you could see J.Lo trying to pick the mud she likes better, and conclude that she wants to choose the drier mud but make it wetter?

Have you ever wished to feel much better about your own marriage by seeing a couple communicate through sarcasm, disdain, and eye-rolling?

Have you wished that you knew what it was like to be a fifty-year-old woman with so much insecurity and so much money that you can surround yourself entirely with sycophants, bullying anyone who isn’t willing to support your bubble of delusion?

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to show up for the Olympics without doing any training beforehand and being bummed out when you can’t perform at Olympics level?

Twenty years after J.Lo released her last album, this woman really thought she should jump into an absolutely massive three-part project (album, movie, documentary) without having spent the intervening years cracking on any of the related crafts. She can’t name any projects that remind her of her own project except for “Purple Rain” by Prince, and somehow everyone has the tact not to start listing things like Rhythm Nation, Moonwalker, and Lemonade.

She doesn’t know what gels are. She scoffs at Ben Affleck being excited by the expensive movie equipment, while Ben Affleck is incredulous that cheating on her before their wedding was emotionally devastating (their breakup “was mutual!” he says, while she disassociates on camera).

Meanwhile, Ben Affleck is horrified and humiliated that she shared all their personal correspondence with a bunch of strangers in a professional setting. He was not asked first. Or even notified.

The documentary is clearly edited by someone who hates J.Lo and cut in a lot of moments that mock her by demonstration: for instance, J.Lo insisting “you forgot I can dance!” and then cutting to a really low-energy rehearsal of the worst number in the movie. Or when she calls someone “like a sister” and then they show her acting annoyed and eye-rolling at her sister-colleague.

A lot of celebrities refuse to be in the movie. J.Lo says they’re afraid. Nobody challenges her on that, either.

She may have demanded Derek Hough cancel his appearance at an IRL wedding to marry her in a fake wedding!

The celebrities who agree promptly show up and start shit-talking the project.

Sadhguru arrives and she greets him mimicking his accent.

At some point, I whited out and lost track of existence.

I’m so supportive of J.Lo’s vanity project. I maintain that I would rather watch *all* *of* *this* before sitting through a single viewing of any Avatar movie, James Cameron’s vanity projects. I genuinely like a couple of the songs in a normal pop music way, and I think her more visually ambitious sequences have a delirious appeal. But I am genuinely concerned that J.Lo is not okay, even a little bit, and that the whole “learning to love herself” narrative is actual total denial. Because this woman obviously does not love herself. She may have identified the problem (and she’s right!) but she is not healing, and she’s not in an environment where that is possible.

It’s actually overtly alarming to see her reenacting abuse from past relationships when she’s so very much NOT OKAY. No wonder she’s so miserable and snappy about the mud. She must have been in a constant haze of PTSD flashbacks doing this to herself. I actually think Ben Affleck’s attempts to talk her up without any clear-eyed evaluation of her capabilities may have been more harmful than a loving husband thing.

If you’re like me (the living embodiment of the Marie Kondo ilovemess.gif) then you can’t miss this, but it’s…alarming. It hates its own subject matter. It’s BANANAS to the point of being painful.

This entire trifecta project is 10/10 but also somehow 1-2 stars.

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