Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez recently got back together after more than 16 years since their breakup in the early aughts. But in case it slipped out of the collective memory, before there was a Ben and Jen, there was a Ben and Gwyn. Gwyneth Paltrow, that is. (The two Shakespeare in Love co-stars actually dated for years before “Bennifer.”) Yet surprisingly enough, Paltrow had a very quaint reaction to photos of her ex hitting the red carpet with JLo once again.
Technically, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s romance is already Instagram official, but a recent red carpet event seemed to indicate that the powerhouse Hollywood couple is well and truly back. They jointly attended the Venice Film Festival premiere of The Last Duel, a historical drama that Affleck appears in alongside leads Matt Damon and Adam Driver. But Gwyneth Paltrow, who dated Affleck from 1997 to 2000, saw one of Bennifer’s photos circulating on Instagram and commented:
Gwyneth Paltrow’s reaction is what’s most cute here. The Goop mogul seems entirely unbothered by her ex reigniting a romance with his ex. In direct contrast, Jennifer Lopez’s former fiancé, A-Rod, has mostly laughed off any questions about Bennifer -- yet he's also seemingly been everywhere they are.
The Oscar-nominated actress and Marvel Cinematic Universe alum can add her name to a growing list of celebs that approve of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s recoupling. While Gwyneth Paltrow thinks it’s cute, reality star Kim Kardashian is fangirling out over the red carpet photos. Whereas Affleck’s best friend and collaborator Matt Damon sees it as an opportunity for the paparazzi to treat the two better this time around.
In the intervening years since her own and even Jennifer Lopez’s break up with Ben Affleck in the early 2000s, Gwyneth Paltrow has been building a holistic lifestyle brand (that only rarely gets sued over exploding vagina candles). So much so that her biggest acting role in the last decade has arguably been as Pepper Potts in the Iron Man and Avengers films. Paltrow considers herself retired from acting, but that could change, depending on her husband, Brad Falchuk.
So while Gwyneth Paltrow is busy gooping it up and casually commenting on her ex’s relationship, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are still prolific on the acting scene. Lopez has a new rom-com coming out in a few months that's as much anticipated for marking her first time singing in a movie since Selena as it is for her starring alongside Owen Wilson. Affleck will presumably be walking the red carpet again soon for upcoming films Deep Water and The Flash.
The Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow triangle of exes can, in fact, teach us all some valuable lessons. Namely, that time is the ultimate equalizer and that, maybe, it doesn't always have to be awkward where one’s ex is concerned.
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.
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