Turning on a favorite entertainment news program used to be a pleasure, but in recent weeks it has turned into a chore, as television viewers have been inundated with coverage of wedding plans and later a postponement of the wedding between Hollywood’s latest power couple, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
Quinnipiac students, like many fans across the country, have mixed feelings about the couple’s relationship, believing that the media has taken the coverage of the duo to an extreme. Fuel was added to the fire recently when the couple appeared together in Gigli, Miramax’s latest flop, over the summer, leaving movie fans disappointed and tired of the couple both on and off-screen.
After shooting the film early last year the couple began dating, and entered into a fury of media attention when Affleck proposed to Lopez, enticing her with a $1.2 million pink diamond engagement ring. Dubbed “Bennifer,” by the tabloids, Lopez and Affleck set their wedding date for Sept. 14, but as the date grew closer, the ceremony was called off at the last minute due to excessive media attention. Rumors are currently circulating that the couple has broken up, due in part to Affleck’s alleged recent romp at a Vancouver, British Columbia, strip club this July.
This publicized speculation of a breakup is no surprise to junior history major Laura Pront. “[Lopez] has a problem with commitment and [Affleck] has changed too much for her. She doesn’t seem to have done much to change for him,” Pront said.
Senior media production major Erin Gaiko agrees with Pront. “I don’t think they will [get married]. She’s a serial dater. She pretends she’s going to get married but never does,” Gaiko says, referring to Lopez’s previous relationships.
The pop star married Ojani Noa in 1997, only to divorce him less than a year later, then followed suit with dancer Cris Judd, who wed Lopez in 2001. It has been rumored that Lopez was seeing Affleck shortly before her marriage to Judd ended in divorce earlier this year. Lopez was also the target of a past media frenzy when she made public her two-year relationship to rapper Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, in 1999.
Fans of both actors believe the couple’s overly-publicized relationship has resulted in a dip in their popularity, arguing that the public is simply too tired of hearing about them in the daily news.
“[The media blitz] is none of our business,” says junior English major Allison Mansfield. “They’re only popular because the media says they are. I’ve never met anyone that actually cared.”
Junior Brandon Boese has also heard more gossip about the duo than he can handle. Boese said he is sick of the media attention “because it’s making me hate Ben Affleck, even though I loved Good Will Hunting [1997 film featuring Affleck]. I just hate all the stupid gossip that surrounds celebrities.”
Regardless of the result of their rollercoaster relationship, the media can be sure Quinnipiac students will be tuning out the next time Lopez or Affleck appear on the small screen. For those movie buffs interested in the couple’s on-screen chemistry, however, Jersey Girl will be released next year from director Kevin Smith, and will featuring both actors. So count your blessings, movie fans, for you may get a small reprieve from the “Bennifer” gossip until their next movie comes out. Just wait, though, undoubtedly they will be back.
Additional reporting for this story was contributed by Staff Writer Nancy Provod.