9
Aug 15

JENNIFER LOPEZ – “Love Don’t Cost A Thing”

Popular38 comments • 2,874 views

#888, 20th January 2001

jlo love Every era of pop has artists who work as a kind of fossil record – they may never put their name behind a great single, but their career is a useful indicator of pop’s shifting baselines and aesthetic whims. A track by them will tell you more about its year than any of its more idiosyncratic, or better, peers. J-Lo, I’d say, is one of these performers. If that seems unfair, it might be because her skills run a lot wider than music. In fact the main thing that sets Jennifer Lopez apart is how versatile she is – she’s shifted between film star, pop star (in Anglo and Latin markets), and TV personality and done solidly well at all of them. You can imagine a number of already-famous women deciding, at 30, that they’d like to get into music. But wanting is easier than doing. For J-Lo to fit so smoothly into millennial pop’s identity parade when her peers were far younger and with fewer built-up associations suggests unusual dexterity.

J-Lo is the pop incarnation of that very 00s figure, the flexible worker – pivoting, reskilling, and relaunching herself across a variety of disciplines with general success. The obvious and unkind rejoinder would be that she was a dilettante, her pop career a rich woman’s hobby. It was a line of attack that apparently bugged Lopez, since she countered it at exhausting length, with a rash of songs designed to prove her authenticity, her street roots and connections, and her refusal to let money define her. J-Lo did this partly by showing – with a revolving door of rap collaborators, most prominently Ja Rule – but also by telling. A lot of telling. Rule’s guest spot was on a remix of the bluntly titled “I’m Real” (”The game done chose me”, offers Lopez), and the theme reached its peak on the much-derided “Jenny From The Block” – the very definition of protesting too much. Being real? “To me it’s like breathing”, J-Lo trills, while around her hip-hop crew The LOX rap their career into the ground.

So “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” doesn’t just dive into R&B’s ongoing debate on romance and wealth, it’s an instalment in Lopez’ didactic campaign to prove how down-to-earth she is. It sets out its pitch as a kind of opposite to “No Scrubs” – that single flintily diagnosed deadbeat men as a drag on women’s chances of bettering themselves, but J-Lo waves such concerns away: it’s the heart that counts. (The press assumed she was having a dig at P. Diddy, her ex.) It’s a more generous sentiment, you might say, but an easier one too. And this is the strange flipside of J-Lo’s obsession with her own authenticity: the actual records she was making are all rather good, but not because of their street credentials. Instead their quality is down to her flexibility, a drive to bring in the crowds no matter what she’s doing. “Jenny From The Block”, for instance, succeeds because it backs up ridiculous lyrics not with grimy, ground-level beats but with a super-infectious flute sample.

And “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” is just as splashy and eager to please, a blustering take on the Destiny’s Child sound of 1999, fake harpsichord runs all over the place and Lopez adopting the conspiratorial, you-won’t-believe-this tone of “Bills Bills Bills” et al on the verses to build some tension. Never mind that it doesn’t fit the theme, it turns a lyrically somewhat pat song into one with more dramatic kick. And if that fails, there’s some crashing Cheiron-esque boom-beats at the start, and a parping synth-brass breakdown: everywhere you listen, this record is doing its best to grab you. It’s the paradox of J-Lo: her records act out a struggle between insecurity over her realness, and a will to adapt and entertain. Luckily for us, the latter mostly wins.

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Comments

  1. 1
    flahr on 9 Aug 2015 #

    “J-Lo is the pop incarnation of that very 00s figure, the flexible worker…” –> zero-hours contract pop!!!

    The song: oh, it’s THIS one (I must have heard it on Kissssssstory or something). I love the ‘boom-beats’, they sound almost video gamey at the start, like we’ve just hit A CHALLENGER APPROACHES on Super Smash Bros Melee. I think this is entertainingly shoddy, but I might just be saying that because I like this and I like entertainingly shoddy. Inspirational Verse: “What I need from you is not available in stores”. [6]

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 9 Aug 2015 #

    maybe listening to this on a Youtube video through earbuds is colouring my perception but this sounds rather insipid to me, largely because J-Lo is not that great a singer and the song sounds like a pale imitation of better precedents.

  3. 3
    Ricardo on 9 Aug 2015 #

    What I remember best about this were the little (well, maybe not so little) digs thrown at her when she married Cris Judd months later, as the wedding ceremony (and her engagement ring) did cost a lot (of thing$).

  4. 4
    AMZ1981 on 9 Aug 2015 #

    I remember a constant criticism of J Lo that if you listened carefully to her records you’d notice that it was actually the backing singers who did all the work and covered up her shortcomings. However, with one of the best strike rates of the early noughties she proved stronger than her critics. Perhaps it was unfortunate that despite two further bunnies, the last as recent as 2011, by the decade end she was eclipsed by two other female RnB superstars. Maybe her film career which would include some infamous flops destroyed her musical credibility.

    In chart terms the most interesting thing about this record is that it kicks off (as pointed out by a reader of James Masterton’s chart commentary at the time) a run of four number one singles by artists whose previous single missed the top ten.

  5. 5
    Chelovek na lune on 9 Aug 2015 #

    The main criticism musically I would throw at J-Lo at this point (and more substantive criticisms await) is that she had started out her pop career by making the same record over and over again – this sounds in places like a slightly inferior remake of “If You Had My Love” (while that record’s follow up, “Waiting For Tonight” had been more of a cheap, less high quality imitation). Perhaps this highlights the “fossil” theory: the versatility, or at any rate diversity, of J-Lo’s was yet to come apparent. So far, it’s Latin-tinged dancy pop updated to the wont of the day; a heir to Gloria Estefan in the making, perhaps? The insistent catchiness, and the quirky misdirections it takes, are probably the greatest redeeming qualities of “Love Don’t Cost A Thing”. But I still find it hard to get particularly enthused about this, lyrically or musically. (6)

  6. 6
    mapman132 on 9 Aug 2015 #

    This record has always bugged me as it seemed J Lo was the epitome of an entertainer whose love cost quite a bit. Tom beat me to the phrase “protesting too much”, but that’s exactly how I’d describe much of her output. I don’t mind her as much when she’s not trying to overestablish her cred – I actually like “Waiting For Tonight” for example. But here I can’t go above 4/10. Hit #3 in America FWIW.

  7. 7
    JLucas on 9 Aug 2015 #

    Ever since they started putting pictures on record sleeves, pop music has been an exercise in branding. But pop as brand-extension seems to have reached a peak around the early 00s, and it’s hard to think of anybody who practiced it as effectively as Jennifer Lopez.

    Having come up through dancing (a fun early appearance – background in a Samantha Fox video!), TV and eventually movies, she segued seemingly effortlessly into pop music with the slinky If You Had My Love and the euphoric Waiting For Tonight, to my mind still two of her best records. Such was her level of celebrity by 2001 that it felt only right and proper that she be anointed with a #1 single, which this song duly delivered her. (In America she scored a #1 out the gate with IYHML, and this song peaked at a more modest #3).

    It’s not one of her better songs, the production is energetic but quite run-of-the-mill and the chorus is just a touch too repetitive and it feels like it runs about 30 seconds too long despite clocking in at well under 4 minutes. But it’s glitzy and high energy and convinces as an A-list pop single.

    It also become something of a stick to beat her with – as did the narcissistic, the lady doth protest too much ‘Jenny From The Block’. That record – and to a lesser extent this one – highlights another feature of the J.Lo single, their autobiography. From Jenny From The Block and I’m Real to the clunky title of her third album ‘This Is Me… Then’ and its simpering closing track ‘Dear Ben’ (as in Affleck), buying a Jennifer Lopez song meant buying into the J.Lo brand to a degree her younger pop peers rarely broached. This was effective, around 2001-2004 she was arguably the most ubiquitous pop culture figure in Hollywood, despite not putting out all that much genuinely memorable material in music or film. It may also have contributed to a subsequent backlash, with the critical mauling of her films (Particularly the disastrous ‘Gigli’) and the temporary combustion of her pop career.

    She recovered, as we’ll discuss in later threads, and while she’s only a sporadic presence on the charts or at the box office, her drive and longevity have seen her pretty much established in the firmaments of pop culture royalty. With her multimedia talents and instinct for genre-hopping, the pop icon she’s probably most closely comparable to is Cher, though she’s never quite had good enough material to elevate her to that woman’s level. This song is probably the definition of the typical J.Lo hit – glossy, energetic but ultimately quite ephemeral. A six seems about correct.

  8. 8
    JLucas on 9 Aug 2015 #

    RE J.Lo’s vocal contribution to her own records, it sounds like she’s the lead vocalist throughout this one, but ‘Play’ is quite hilarious in that the chorus is transparently not her voice. In fact, it’s the voice of the songwriter and brief chart star Christina Milian of AM to PM and Dip It Low fame.

    Ain’t It Funny is the other major J.Lo hit in which she’s audibly receiving a lot of vocal assistance. The chorus of the latin-pop version is as far as I know just a random session singer, while the remix version features prominent (but uncredited) vocal contributions from Ashanti. J.Lo has a decent enough voice, so I’m not sure why she’s so absent on the hooks of those two records. Perhaps laziness, or maybe those choruses just didn’t sit as well in her (admittedly limited) register?

  9. 9
    Ronnie on 9 Aug 2015 #

    This is by far my least favorite era of pop music, and J.Lo was by far one of the worst artists in it — Obnoxious, phony, not particularly skilled vocally or personality-wise. This in particular is one of her worst. [2]

    I would argue that “Waiting for Tonight” is her only really good song, but “On the Floor” was pretty decent too, I guess.

  10. 10
    Shiny Dave on 9 Aug 2015 #

    The talk about the branding of J-Lo and the talk about how that’s been a thing since the dawn of the record sleeve… seem quite resonant when we’re discussing a record whose sleeve is essentially one hand over a bare, lean midriff. And indeed J-Lo’s career certainly hinged at least in part on embracing a degree of objectification – though it wasn’t usually the midriff that was the focus of attention. (Surely only a J-Lo record, and perhaps specifically only a J-Lo/Pitbull record, could feature the line “I know you like my bumper/Don’t be ashamed.”)

    #7 nailed this – it never remotely threatens to be a classic, but it’s strongly, confidently on-trend uptempo pop. Mockery-invitation aside – and, as we’ve discussed with Craig David and Robbie Williams, that’s a feature as well as a bug in early-21st-century pop – there’s nothing here that ever comes close to dragging this below a 5. Not sure I can go higher, definitely can’t go lower.

  11. 11
    katstevens on 9 Aug 2015 #

    A Photoshopped 6-pack that would make Peter Andre proud!

    I missed a lot of the 2001 chart as I was too busy listening to music made by white dudes 25 years previously. Got to catch up some time, innit! My results of this research were: the first 4 Ramones albums are the best ones.

  12. 12
    JLucas on 9 Aug 2015 #

    A look at the charts this week, we’re still in the annual January slump and there wasn’t much of interest to challenge J.Lo’s ascent to the top…

    #5 was Feeder’s breakthrough hit ‘Buck Rogers’, and one of the few I could hum without prompting, although they did have a fair presence over the next few years. They strike as one of the more workmanlike rock groups of the time, although the suicide of their drummer shortly after this hit understandably earned them a degree of goodwill.

    #6 Texas with Inner Smile, the second new release from their blockbusting Greatest Hits album and one of my personal favourites of their hits, if only for the fact that it’s a lot less languid than most of their 90s material. Video featured Sharleen Spiteri in Elvis drag.

    #8 Why by Mis-teeq, the first hit from one of the most consistently likeable local RnB groups of the time, and far from their biggest.

    #9 Camels by Santos and #11 Needin’ U by David Morales, two club records that I just barely remember. I think the latter had more of an afterlife, but possibly just because it had a strong vocal hook whereas if I remember correctly Camels was an instrumental.

    #13 Creed with the obnoxious ‘With Arms Wide Open’, a mega-hit in America but mercifully one of only two minor top 20 appearances here. Christian Rock isn’t a genre that ever really took in the UK, but I do hear a precursor to the dread Nickelback here.

    #16 Demons by Fatboy Slim, featuring a vocal from the then-hot and ever-likeable Macy Gray and another of his trademark wacky videos. This one as overshadowed by the subsequent ‘Weapon Of Choice’ and the instant-classic video featuring Christopher Walken.

    #31 Dusted with Always Remember To Respect And Honour Your Mother. Was there a Faithless connection here? I don’t have any memory of it beyond that.

    #34 Boy is Crying by Saint Etienne, scoring their sole top 40 hit from the Sound of Water album, and bettering the #50 peak of ‘Heart Failed (In The Back of a Taxi)’ in the process. I preferred that one but this was catchy, and it’s a lovely if uncommercial album.

    Finally at #37 Everlast with Black Jesus. I have no memory of this whatsoever, but I think they were another big-in-America rock group?

  13. 13
    Mark M on 9 Aug 2015 #

    At least one, maybe two mentions of a bunny up there! (Which maybe my least favourite record of this decade… but anyway)

    I’m with the consensus on this one – it’s a middling song that sounds like a lot of better ones.

    I do think that J.Lo has had her moments, especially with the more hip-hop ‘remixes’ that in at least one case – Ain’t It Funny – had absolutely no elements (including the lyrics) in common with the original!

    Not sure that at the time I was particularly aware of her age, but indeed, she had a late start in pop, being over a decade older than Beyoncé and chums. Of course, she’d been battling her way up… I’m thinking the first time I noticed her was in Blood And Wine, a what I remember as a decent-ish neo noir directed by the once-near great Bob Rafelson (slightly random cast: Nicholson, Cain, Dorff, Judy Davis and Lopez). She had a run of noir-tinted stuff, because she was also in Oliver Stone’s U-Turn and Out of Sight. But also, of course, Anaconda – with Ice Cube!

    Since her pop career started, her movies have generally been pretty poor…

  14. 14
    Mark M on 9 Aug 2015 #

    Re12: Everlast is him out of House Of Pain.

  15. 15
    Edward Still on 10 Aug 2015 #

    Can’t say I really liked much if J Lo’s muscal output, but nearly everything I do know by her I prefer to this which I find remarkably 1-note and hook-free. Something about the production on the more pop end of US r&b at this time really grated with me, though I am unfortunately not knowledgeable enough to identify what exactly it is. The opening drums seem a case in point – so muted for something presumably meant to be bold and dramatic.

    I have always found Ms Lopez to be a hard figure to identify in the pop-cultural landscape anyway. Was she an actress who sings as initially marketed (at least in the UK), or a singer who does films? Seems to come across as an artist with 2 second strings to her bow but no actual speciality. Perhaps it is instructive to see her as almost a proto-Hilton or Kardashian, with a will to fame being her primary driving force, but with having some creative abilities as a vehicle to get there.

    3

  16. 16
    Tom on 10 Aug 2015 #

    I think she’s from a much older tradition, to be honest – back in the 40s and 50s movie stars who sang a bit and pop stars who acted weren’t at all uncommon: we met quite a few in 50s Popular. Some were great at one and the other happened in its slipsteam – Elvis for instance. But others weren’t honestly especially great at either. So J-Lo is more like Doris Day or Adam Faith than she is Hilton or Kardashian (who are very different types in any case).

  17. 17
    Edward Still on 10 Aug 2015 #

    A much better analogy Tom, I knew there was one! To be honest I get the opinion that on the UK we had missed a lot of her foundation story as certainly when I first became aware of her with her debut single she already seemed a “big deal”.

  18. 18
    flahr on 10 Aug 2015 #

    #12 – I had a very castles-in-the-air idea for a stage show about the ‘long 1990s’, the period roughly identifiable as that time when history had ended, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to a pretty obvious event later this Popular year, which would essentially canter through the period with a mixture of covers and original songs. “Buck Rogers” has always seemed like the perfect ending, loud and frenetic and with a very obvious lyric sense of the uncertain future. For this reason I can’t really hear it any more without fantasising about myself shouting over the top of it “YOU HAVE BEEN WATCHING…” to an adoring large audience, possibly at the Edinburgh Fringe.

  19. 19
    Oliver on 10 Aug 2015 #

    The sleeve for ‘Love Don’t Cost a Thing’ sums up the multi-platform J-Lo brand c.2001 quite perfectly. Remove the song title and wouldn’t you be hard-pressed to say (for sure) that this was a music product? It could just as easily be a film poster, or an advert for a Lopez-branded fragrance, jewellery collection or jeans line.

    For what it’s worth, I think it’s a shame that this is her first UK number one, as it’s one of the weakest, tinniest and more irritating offerings from a usually stellar singles discography.

    Better songs from the first two J-Lo albums than this: ‘If You Had My Love’, ‘Waiting for Tonight’, ‘Play’, ‘Ain’t It Funny’ (pop version), ‘I’m Real’ (Ja Rule Remix)’.

    Her later bunnies sound more deserving number one records to me. ‘Dance Again’, which we sadly won’t have the opportunity to discuss, is also fantastic.

    Despite the similarities in branding and celebrity, I’d say it’s offensive to compare her to Paris Hilton. Lopez is definitely a star in the old-fashioned movie mould, as Tom says at #16. She has a strong voice, can dance up a storm and is glamorous in a Hollywood sense – not out of reach (hey there’s a clothing line to promote!), but not quite aspirationally so.

    The concert I saw in 2012 was brilliant, with more convincing live vocals than your typical gig by most of her peers, and an endearingly warm and vivacious stage presence. I’m unsurprised she’s been tapped up for a Vegas residency next year (there’s old Hollywood again).

  20. 20
    Oliver on 10 Aug 2015 #

    Would also argue that ‘Feelin So Good’, the original ‘I’m Real’ and the ‘Ain’t It Funny’ remix are better than LDCaT, but the five I list above are easily so.

  21. 21
    thefatgit on 10 Aug 2015 #

    @15, From Ricky Martin onwards, the production-suite software of much of the turn-of-the-millennium R&B and pop and eventually standardised across the board is Pro Tools. I’m guessing early versions had this “muted” deadening effect you identify, which pretty much turned me off much of the R&B output around this time. It’s definitely more noticeable when J-Lo has to rely on the talents of the producer to make her vocal sound stronger than it actually is.

    I’m not that enamoured by LDCAT, although it works as part of the wider dialogue about feminine empowerment, it lacks the punch of a Destiny’s Child or a TLC. I for one, read it as a slight against Puffy, especially when you compare it to “It’s All About The Benjamins”. As a belated response to that, it fits better within the narrative. Not that there “has” to be a narrative about anyone or anything other than J-Lo herself, of course. I find myself leaning just a tad shy of Tom’s score (5).

  22. 22

    4/10, this is the musical equivalent of eating too much luxury ice cream too quickly and getting brain freeze.

    I much preferred Ain’t it Funny (the first, very Latin one, not the Murder Edit with Ja Rule) because it sounds exactly like Revolt into Style by Bill Nelson’s Red Noise.

  23. 23
    Mark M on 10 Aug 2015 #

    Re17: Maybe a little bit – her TV career was pretty minor, and most of early films had, as far as I know, a similar profile on both sides of the Atlantic. Out Of Sight, which the IMDB has as the film she’s most known for, was, proportionately, probably slightly more successful in the UK than the US.

    The exception is Selena, which was a big indie hit (about the same box office as Out of Sight) in the US, and got a lot of media buzz, but never got a cinema release here because there’s not that much mileage in a biopic of someone nobody has ever heard of. It helped make her a big figure in the rising Latino showbiz tide, and led indirectly to her music career.

  24. 24
    Mark M on 10 Aug 2015 #

    In the Out Of Sight cover story in Neon (Dec 98), she was described as ‘The big bottomed girl from Anaconda’ in the standfirst, and ‘An actress whose bottom makes more headlines than her face.’ All of which suggests that we expected our readers at least to have an idea of her notoriety.

    In line with the discussion about what her masterplan was, she’s quoted in the article as saying, ‘I think of people like Cher and Bette Midler and Diana Ross. That’s always been the kind of career I’d hoped to have. I want it all.’

  25. 25
    Phil on 10 Aug 2015 #

    Don’t think I’d ever heard this before. I agree with #15 re: one-note & lacking in hooks; the chorus sounds like a teenager’s imitation of chart pop. In fact I was zoning out when we hit the breakdown; the clanky robot-dance section woke me up, though, & for the next minute or so some interesting stuff kept popping up, as if the single was its own remix. It was over well before it finished, though – they should have edited out the last 50 seconds & ended it at about 4:17 (per the Official Video on Vevo), which comes in at 5:07 overall. 2 up to the breakdown, 6 after it, 4 overall.

    #22 – listening to it now & really struggling to see the similarity, I’m afraid.

    #23 – the Selena story was new to me – horrible. Moments In Wikipedia: “Hispanics reacted negatively to the news of her death”. The rest weren’t too bothered, presumably.

  26. 26
    Ed on 11 Aug 2015 #

    While I broadly agree with the general consensus about Lopez appearing to be a jack of all trades but a master of none, I think her best work has been as an actress.

    She is a commanding presence in superior genre movies such as The Cell and Anaconda, and is absolutely terrific in Out Of Sight: it’s a performance that should have made her a genuine star.

    But she made some bad choices, being type-cast in Maid in Manhattan, and appearing in the notoriously epic fiasco Gigli with her then boyfriend, Ben Affleck.

    Hollywood never quite seemed to know what to do with her, possibly because of her ethnicity. She didn’t get the type of roles that went to Gwyneth Paltrow or Kate Hudson or Kate Beckinsale or Chloe Sevigny. Those appalling quotes from Neon cited @24 suggest she was pigeon-holed as an exotic sex bomb rather than being seen as any kind of serious actress.

    IIRC, it was around the time that her movie career stalled that she started throwing herself into music.

    I haven’t seen much of her recent work, but The Boy Next Door looked terrible; not least because of the decision to cast 30 year-olds as High School students.

    Her most convincing performances have probably been as a judge on American Idol – she is sympathetic with the more hapless contestants, and insightful on the technicalities of performance – but no-one wants that on their tombstone.

    When last seen she was working in TV, shooting a series in which she stars as an implausibly glamorous New York cop. I don’t hold out great expectations, but I do hope she still has a future in acting somewhere.

  27. 27
    Mark M on 11 Aug 2015 #

    Re26: Hang on, Chloe Sevigny? I’m not sure which roles of hers J.Lo would have felt hard done by missing out on. Kate Beckinsale seems a closer shout.

    Maid In Manhattan made a more than respectable $93m domestic. It went downhill from there, though… I think there are reasons why Kate Hudson got more romcom roles, and they aren’t got necessarily to do with ethnicity.

    Her strength as an actress was neo-noir, but they don’t make a load of those and they aren’t big box office draws. But maybe she should have tried more action…

  28. 28
    anto on 11 Aug 2015 #

    I’d always assumed Jennifer Lopez’s film and pop careers launched themselves at the same time – a Latino Clare Grogan?
    I always quite liked her songs simply because there is something likeable about her voice. She’s not a world champion singer, but it’s well suited to the sort of supple melodies she tends to favour. The accent is quite appealing too.
    That front cover is a bit much – ok, so your love don’t cost a thing, but can we maybe have dinner first.

  29. 29
    Ed on 11 Aug 2015 #

    @28 Anaconda and U-Turn were released in 1997, Out Of Sight in 1998, and her first album in 1999, so her music career was launched after her movie career, but while she was still on her way up as an actress.

    Gigli, which killed her as an A-lister, was not until 2003, so my sense that she started putting more effort into music after peaking as an actress was not really accurate.

    @27. Point taken about Chloe Sevigny! I was just throwing out a few names of actresses of roughly the same generation. And I take the point, too, that Maid in Manhattan made a lot of money. Accepting a role as a hotel cleaner still felt like Lopez was allowing Hollywood to type-cast her too easily.

  30. 30
    anto on 11 Aug 2015 #

    @29 – If anything ‘Gigli’ was even more costly for Ben Affleck. Aside from being a dreadful film, the decision to play a character who entices a lesbian (played by his real-life paramour at the time) to ‘convert’ seemed to solidify the growing perception of Affleck as a conceited jerk who thought all of womankind was in awe of his sex appeal.
    I once saw 15 minutes of ‘Gigli’ on Channel 5, that was all I could stomach. At one point Affleck attempts to charm Jennifer Lopez’s character by calling her a ‘dyke-a-saurus” (to which she smiles lovingly) – This is followed by the sex scene in which Lopez spreads her legs and says ‘It’s turkey time, gobble gobble’ – God give me strength.

  31. 31

    #25: Well, the verses only, but they do prove J-Lizzle somehow owns a copy of “Revolt into Style.” This one, though – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSLSwwkLRW0 – not THAT one – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr-H8dR0HLo (which is apparently a “remix” of the former but has about as much to do with it as I.) The most confused I’ve been about singles since Bruce Springsteen released both “Fire” and “I’m on Fire.”

    #30: You have truly opened up the scary door. As terrifying poultry and cinema interfaces go, maybe it’s no Killer Joe. Or “Blackburn Rovers: Some Kind of Venky.”

  32. 32
    Ed on 13 Aug 2015 #

    @30 That may be true, but Affleck has made the better recovery. He’s going to be Batman; Lopez is making a TV show.

  33. 33
    Mark M on 13 Aug 2015 #

    Re:29/30/32: Affleck I think was simultaneous beneficiary/victim of the Hollywood equivalent of a problem diagnosed in Moneyball, whereby scouts kept signing kids who had the look and feel of future baseball stars – tall, fast, strong etc – ignoring their underlying flaws and the fact that all sorts of misshapen boys have turned out be be great players.

    Likewise, Hollywood has a long history of imagining that male leading men will be tall, straight-backed and handsome, and trying to make stars of (often WASPy/Irish) dullards such as Chris O’Donnell, when the smart money turns out to have been on jug-eared Ben Stiller and dough-faced Tom Hanks. (There are exceptions, of course: Chris Pine and Chris Evans both seem to be doing pretty well right now – apparently Evans has a particularly 21st century talent: he’s great caught on GIFs). People kept trying to make Affleck a star.

    Affleck dug himself out of the hole mainly by turning out to be a pretty decent director. I still think he’s a fairly unappealing actor. However, his early attention-grabbing roles were as bullies in Kevin Smith movies, and he does have (when beardless) a cruel face – which fits in with the post-Frank Miller/Christopher Nolan conception/restoration of Batman as a humourless, right-wing vigilante.

  34. 34
    Mark M on 13 Aug 2015 #

    Also, ‘making a TV show’, has, in 2015, ceased to be a comedown, surely?

  35. 35
    Cumbrian on 13 Aug 2015 #

    I always thought that Chris O’Donnell’s problems were that he looked a bit like Matt Damon and Matt Damon was better than him, so he suffered a lot by comparison. He and Alicia Silverstone were the ones who got torpedoed the most by Batman and Robin as well, I guess.

  36. 36
    Mark M on 13 Aug 2015 #

    Re35: Except, he’d had his shot before Matt Damon made his mark – he was a whole bunch of misconceived stuff: as D’Artagnan in the dreadful Young Guns/Brat Pack version of The Three Musketeers, as the young Ernest Hemingway in Dickie Attenborough’s In Love And War, in Mad Love with Drew Barrymore, which was critically mauled and a box- office flop, but directed by Antonia Bird, so maybe interesting…

    All that before Batman & Robin.

    Anyway, he’s an actor who has lived happily ever after on TV… co-starring in NCIS: Los Angeles with J.Lo’s occasional duet partner LL Cool J. See, it all connects!

  37. 37
    Kinitawowi on 14 Aug 2015 #

    O’Donnell also made a reasonable fist of Scent Of A Woman, going up against full-on HOO-AH! era Al Pacino.

    (Oh, and J.Lo gets a 3 for this. Possibly 7 for Waiting For Tonight.)

  38. 38
    Tommy Mack on 15 Aug 2015 #

    Mrs Mack and I were out on Thursday (browsing at Discount Carpet Warehouse – my lifestyle is virtually indistinguishable from that of Jennifer Lopez) and popped into a bar where this came on the telly. It’s another one of those ‘never heard it…oh it’s that one is it?’ hits for me. How much does it want to be Destiny’s Child? ‘Eager to please’ is right, I chuckled into my cranberry juice over how game it all sounds. Dead catchy hooks too, mind. 6 for charm and enthusiasm alone.

    Proper generic bling-lifestyle video though.

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If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)

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