In case you haven't heard, Jennifer Lopez is engaged to Ben Affleck. It was an easy thing to miss: There was only a week or two of pre-announcement publicity before Jennifer's highly rated hour with Diane Sawyer last week, the covers of People and US, and all the recaps on Entertainment Tonight, Extra, and the local news. I'm not sure what's going on over there in the Middle East with all that confusing bombing stuff, but I can tell you that J.Lo has a pink engagement stone the size of Gary Coleman's left testicle.
There was a time—wasn't there?—when Diane Sawyer was a serious journalist. Diane has great hair now and is able to keep a straight face while telling Jennifer Lopez that, even though she's a big movie star, it's clear she's still "Jenny From the Block" (which happens to be the name of Jennifer's latest single). We haven't seen an interview this trenchant since Oprah Winfrey let Michael Jackson defend his pathology by claiming he was dating Brooke Shields.
Initially, I was worried about Jennifer with Ben. Don't get me wrong—if the guy bought me a beer, introduced me to Matt Damon, and kissed one of my ass cheeks like he does Jennifer's in her new music video, I have no doubt I'd be waking up to his mouth-breathing the next morning, too. But he's never seemed like the kind of guy you'd bring home to mother.
Thanks to Diane's expert probing, however, Jennifer's love makes more sense than ever. Ben, said J.Lo during the interview, is "brilliantly smart" and "a very, very sense of calm" [sic] for her. Plus, Ben sent Diane an e-mail telling her how great he thinks Jennifer's new album is. Ben, by the way, is also the brilliantly smart sense of calm who once said that Gwyneth Paltrow was "like the funny fat girl in the skinny girl's body"; that he planned on going into politics but wouldn't "go Susan Sarandon" on the public(?); and that Matt Damon was the kind of friend you could call when you had a dead hooker in your room at 3 in the morning (to which Damon surely responded, "D'oh!").
So let us love Diane, and Ben, and, above all else, Jennifer, who in times of crisis may be as essential as Anna Nicole Smith to our national well being. Jennifer is a real movie star, the kind who will never win an Oscar, the kind who can talk about a third marriage like it's "realer" this time, the kind who is able to believe herself when she seriously discusses her character in Maid in Manhattan. People will tell you it's appalling to focus so much attention on a movie star when our president is declaring war, but I say it's the American way.