The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Short-lived, even on screen

New York, March 19 (Reuters): The on again, off again romance between actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez is finally ending in marriage, sort of. But don’t expect a happy ending.

For months, American tabloids gushed with headlines that the hunky actor and sultry singer were heading for the altar before their love affair ended in a messy public split.

Now finally the pair are married, albeit for a short-lived 15 minutes on the silver screen that ends with J. Lo’s untimely death after childbirth in the movie Jersey Girl, to be released in the US this month.

“I think professionally and personally — and being that Jen is in it for just 15 minutes — it leaves that whole thing on a kind of a positive note,” Affleck said in an interview about his newest cinematic bow.

The curtains came down on the two movie stars’ real relationship several months ago. But only after they suffered some of the worst movie reviews ever for their flop Gigli — a movie Hollywood executives had dreamed might propel the romantically-entangled pair to become the new Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Jersey Girl was made before the pair broke up and was originally set to be marketed as another Ben and Jen vehicle. But after the end of their romance and the monumental flop of their last on-screen pairing, their newest offering makes almost no reference to Lopez in its marketing.

Still, Affleck is hoping that Jersey Girl will help repair the damage done to the Oscar winner’s reputation after Gigli, which he called a “gigantic bomb”.

After a year Affleck described as both humbling and overwhelming, he is hoping Jersey Girl will put him back in the win column.

“The gigantic Ishtar catastrophe is the one everyone remembers — which is why I think it’s nice to have this movie happen now because it serves as a counterweight to that,” Affleck said.

Ishtar, starring Hollywood heavyweights Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, flopped dramatically in 1987 and is widely regarded as one of Tinseltown’s greatest bombs.

While leaving Affleck with “positive memories” of his work with Lopez, making Jersey Girl “was really important for me career wise — going back to doing the most basic thing I started doing, which was stories of regular people.”

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