Skip to main content

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's relationship clues are all there, you just need to know where to look

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the premiere for 'This Is Me... Now: A Love Story' in February. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters via CNN Newsource) Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the premiere for 'This Is Me... Now: A Love Story' in February. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters via CNN Newsource)
Share

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are not talking about their current relationship, but they have already said plenty.

With reports the pair have hit a rough patch in their almost two-year marriage, many are trying to read between the “Bennifer” lines about the couple reportedly putting their house on the market or Lopez’s recent decision to cancel her tour to be with her family.

But it appears that the pair have already given us all we need to know about their romance. Just watch “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.”

The Prime Video documentary first released in February as a behind-the-scenes look at Lopez’s short film that accompanied her latest album, “This Is Me…Now: A Love Story.” It was a lot of J-Lo at once, some criticized too much, but the documentary, in retrospect, is revelatory.

Before they wed (twice) in 2022, Lopez and Affleck were previously engaged two decades prior, only to call it off three days before their planned September 2003 wedding over pressures of living in the spotlight. “The Greatest Love Story Never Told” explores what brought them back together, along with their bond and even their conflicts - in other words an adult relationship.

The title and its meaning

No one can say Ben Affleck isn’t romantic.

He took their correspondence, every letter and email they had written over 20 years and put it in a memory book he titled, “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.” He presented it to Lopez for their first Christmas together after they reunited.

Lopez used the letters as inspiration for “This is Me…Now,” sharing it with her creative team.

“She would pick one and she would let us touch them and read them,” one songwriter recounts in the documentary.

Affleck shares his reaction when he discovered the book had served as source material for his wife’s work.

“She was like ‘I’ve been reading and the people…this is the kind of inspiration. I’ve been showing them the book,” Affleck recalls in the film. “I was like ‘You’ve been showing all the musicians all those letters that…’ and they were like ‘Yeah, we call you Pen Affleck!’ And I was like ‘Oh my God.’”

Though out of his comfort zone, the Oscar-winning producer and writer seems to understand.

“I did really find the beauty and the poetry and the irony in the fact that it’s the greatest love story never told,” he says. “If you’re making a record about it, that seems kind of like telling it.”

Their different approaches to creativity and fame are what some observers believe may be the cause of possible conflict in their power-coupledom.

“Things that are private, I always felt are sacred and special because, in part, they’re private,” Affleck says at one point in the film. “We’re just two people with different kinds of approaches trying to learn to compromise.”

“Getting back together, I said, ‘Listen, one of the things I don’t want is a relationship on social media,’” Affleck later says in the project. “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.’”

Lopez expresses her appreciation for Affleck’s support.

“I don’t think [Ben] is very comfortable with me doing all of this,” she says in the documentary. “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… he doesn’t want to stop me. But that doesn’t mean he’s comfortable being the muse.”

All of the emotion

“The Greatest Love Story Never Told” begins with Lopez explaining how her reunion with Affleck inspired her to do her first studio album in a decade.

She states that her love for him endured in their years apart, but she put to the side.

“When her and Ben first broke up it was catastrophic to her constitution,” said Dave Meyers, who both directed her music videos years ago and the “This Is Me…Now: A Love Story” short film. “Everything that she wanted from what she understood love to be, for that to not work, For the pressures to break it apart. That just spun her out.”

Lopez recalls their initial split, noting that she felt she had lost her best friend and weeps as she talks about the love Affleck has shown her.

“What he saw in me, what he allowed me to believe about myself, only comes from love,” she says as tears roll down her face. “Nobody else could make me see that about myself. It’s very moving. Because I didn’t think much of myself, and so the world didn’t think much of me.”

In one scene, Lopez, worn down by the stress of the project she self-financed, expresses her fears she’s falling short on set, in her marriage and as a mother. In another scene, Affleck is there to encourage her when she worries the visual representation of her new album is going to “suck.”

“You’ll be scared it’ll suck until it doesn’t,” he reassures his wife and makes her laugh. “You’ve gotta discern between things that suck DNA-wise, and things that just don’t work right.”

There’s also plenty of fun.

Affleck notes that Lopez’s character in her short film (which she insists is not completely based on her life) is 28 years old, which is not the age she was when they were first together.

“But you were,” she says to Affleck. “You were. That’s why you were not as smart as me.”

Affleck is now 51 and Lopez is 54.

When he teases her in the documentary about “wanting to play younger” even in her semi-autobiographical film, she lovingly calls him an “idiot.”

Lopez sums up how the couple found their way back to each other after so many years.

“We’re totally different people now. And we’re the same,” she says. “And we have the same. One hundred percent.”

Enough for more chapters in a story that Affleck and Lopez still appear to be writing.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Local Spotlight

Video shows B.C. grizzly basking in clawfoot tub

A donated clawfoot bathtub has become the preferred lounging spot for a pair of B.C. grizzly bears, who have been taking turns relaxing and reclining in it – with minimal sibling squabbling – for the past year.