When the world first learned that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez had gotten back together, there was much rejoicing among fans of early-2000s celebrity gossip.
We suppose those folks are the ones Jen had in mind when she decided to share the four-minute video valentine that she received from Ben this week.
The clip is steeped in nostalgia, and we’re sure Ben’s heart was in the right place.
But critics have blasted the couple’s latest PDA as the height of cringe, and some have gone so far as to say that it’s insensitive to Ben and Jen’s exes.
In sharing the clip, Lopez told fans that it was the sort of present she would normally keep to herself, but she was so moved that she felt she had no choice but to share it.
“This seriously melted my heart,” J.Lo wrote, adding that the video was “something very special and personal with you that normally I would only share with my inner circle … [a] Valentine’s Day present from Ben.”
Ben’s creation takes the original music video for Lopez’s song “On My Way” and intercuts it with sentimental black-and-white footage of couple from the first time they dated, way back in 2002.
The New York Post was particularly scathing on the subject of Ben’s visual love letter, pointing out that for a guy who directed a Best Picture winner, Affleck’s latest effort seems remarkably amateurish.
Worse, it comes off as a bit egocentric in places, with Affleck having apparently selected photos of himself looking very much like the brooding young artiste he fancied himself to be in those days.
And then there’s the harshest criticism of Ben’s latest production — the claim that it’s dismissive of Ben and Jen’s previous relationships, including their respective marriages, which produced multiple children.
“And every heartbreak was just a yellow brick road/Pointing me straight, just taking me home/I was never lost/I was just passing through/I was on my way to you," Lopez sings at one point in the clip.
Yes, in this context, those lines could be ungenerously interpreted as a shot at Jennifer Garner or Marc Anthony, the co-parents of Affleck and Lopez’s children, who are here reduced to mere bumps in the road on the way to true love.
But we doubt that was Ben’s intention.
For many, the situation brings to mind the recent allegations that Affleck blamed Garner for his alcoholism in an interview with Howard Stern.
In case you missed it, Ben remarked that he “probably still would’ve been drinking” had he remained married.
“Part of why I started drinking was because I was trapped," he told Stern.
"I was like, ‘I can’t leave because of my kids, but I’m not happy. What do I do?’ And what I did was drank a bottle of scotch and fell asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution.”
Obviously, those aren’t the most sensitive comments, but it clearly was not Ben’s intention to blame his ex for his addiction.
Similarly, Affleck’s latest romantic gesture could be construed as a bit clumsy, but there’s clearly no malice involved.
Hey, y’all wanted Bennifer 2.0, right?
Well, messiness is part of the fun of any A-list couple, and if you can’t embrace that, then you’re just nostalgic for a time that never existed!