Netflix has released a documentary about superstar and multi-talent Jennifer Lopez. But this video portrait is neither intimate nor particularly revealing.
After documentaries about Marilyn Monroe (“The Marilyn Monroe Mystery: The Unheard Tapes”) and Kanye West (“yeen-juhs”), Netflix has now released a film about Jennifer Lopez’ life. Under the name “Half Time” there is a documentary about the singer, actress and dancer on the streaming portal. It’s about her film “Hustlers” and that she couldn’t get an Oscar nomination for it. And her performance at halftime at the 2020 Super Bowl and singing for US President Joe Biden at his inauguration.
Jennifer Lopez: New documentary “Halftime” on Netflix
For the first time, she opens up about what it was like to share live performance at the Super Bowl with Shakira. In the run-up to the documentary, the statement by her manager Benny Medina upset numerous fans of both musicians and sparked a discussion on Twitter as to which of the two is the bigger star. He said, “It was an insult to think that it takes two Latinas to do the job that only one artist has done in the past.”
Unfortunately, it’s a bit like the trailers of mediocre films: the best moments are shown in advance. Because the documentation does not offer much more that is new than this statement. It’s not about the career of a girl from the Bronx in New York who, against all odds, becomes a world star. They are rather loosely strung together moments from the life of the singer, where the camera team happened to be there. It’s scenes like this: J.Lo without makeup in a hotel room, J.Lo posing for photos (very often), J.Lo dancing at a rehearsal or concert (more often).
Lopez’s mom only gets a chance to speak briefly and tells how she moved to the Bronx and only lived in one room there with three small children on the fourth floor without an elevator. She taught her three daughters not to be dependent on any man. At home, mother, grandmother and aunt were in charge, there were no arguments. J.Lo says, “My mom is a super complicated person with a lot of legacy. She used to hit us a lot.” The mother: “I always wanted the best for her”. Statements from her sisters or friends would be interesting at this point, but one waits in vain for that.
Lopez’s personal life with Ben Affleck and Marc Anthony is also not discussed. So this portrait of the world star is neither intimate nor particularly revealing. It doesn’t show her having setbacks, not failing, not really in her role as a mother either, her twins are only seen briefly. Looking doesn’t tempt you to share the excitement or other emotions, and that’s a shame, because the story about the rise of the superstar is one that’s worth telling in many details. For example, how she ran away from home at 18 and became homeless or celebrated her breakthrough and became the world star whose name almost everyone knows today.