Here's a look back at Jersey Girl and the romance of one of the most powerful couples in the world at the time
Jersey Girl — which turns 15 on Tuesday — didn’t land with the same impact as writer/director Kevin Smith’s most iconic comedies, but it did mark the end of an era for one of Hollywood’s most iconic love stories.
Smith’s heartwarming film — which also starred Liv Tyler, George Carlin, Stephen Root, Mike Starr and Raquel Castro — centers on young father Ollie (Affleck) who must take care of his daughter after his wife, Gertie (Lopez), dies in childbirth.
The power couple were engaged — but not for long. They would call off their engagement just one day before their wedding ceremony in January 2014, two months before the film hit theaters.
Lopez opened up about the time the two spent together, and the pressure that came from leading a public lifestyle in a March 2016 interview with PEOPLE.
“We didn’t try to have a public relationship,” she said. “We just happened to be together at the birth of the tabloids, and it was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was just a lot of pressure.”
When they first met, she said, “I felt like… OK, ‘this is it.’ [But] sometimes I feel like what you think people are and how you see them when you love them is different than when they reveal later.”
“I think different time different thing, who knows what could’ve happened, but there was genuine love there,” she added.
She told Graham Norton on The Graham Norton Show in 2010 that their relationship “was a lot” to handle.
“I love Ben, he’s a great guy but it was a lot for both of us to be under that type of siege for two years straight,” she said. “We were on the cover of every magazine every week, it was just a weird thing. Our relationship, I think, did suffer because of that, that wasn’t the only reason… but I think it definitely played a part in the dynamic of our relationship.”
Their relationship was likely already under strain from the flop that was their first film together — 2003’s Gigli.
RELATED VIDEO: Jennifer Lopez Dishes on Ben Affleck, Diddy and Marc Anthony
Lopez revealed to Vanity Fair in 2017 the critical panning of the film left her devastated and doubting her own abilities.
“I was eviscerated,” she said. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, [I] thought maybe I did suck at everything.”
Of her relationship with Affleck, she revealed, “My relationship self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”
Lopez is now engaged to former baseball player Alex Rodriguez. During a sit-down interview with InStyle that was published on October 2018, the star revealed how her high-profile relationship with Rodriguez compares to that of Affleck.
“It was actually worse then,” Lopez said of the frenzy surrounding “Bennifer.”
After documenting their relationship in her “Jenny from the Block” music video, Lopez and Affleck got engaged in 2002, postponed their 2003 wedding days before they were set to walk down the aisle, then officially split by January 2004.
“It was just crazy,” Lopez added of the media circus. “Now at least I can show you who I am a little bit. Back then you just believed anything you read on the cover of a tabloid. Many times it wasn’t true, or it was like a third of the truth.”