Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez Are The 2000s Comeback Story We’ve All Been Waiting For

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Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez

With the breakdown of Brangelina in 2019, Hollywood’s most famous 2000s pairings seemed to be a thing of the past until Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s shock reunion.

Hollywood romances and our obsessions with them aren’t known to stand the test of time, so any opportunity to revive a previously defunct celebrity couple portmanteau must be seized.

Bennifer 2.0 has reignited the fervor of 2000s tabloids in the most unanticipated manner, uniting everyone from the TikTok generation to the MTV generation.

From the first sightings of Affleck and Lopez’s reunion — a blurry paparazzi shot of the actor leaving Lopez’s home — '00s nostalgia has been mounting to a fever pitch.

And now, with confirmation in the form of another PDA-filled paparazzi photo, Bennifer is truly back with a bang.

Bennifer was one of many showbiz couples from Tomkat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) to Gyllenspoon (Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese WItherspoon) whose romance played out on the front pages of Us Weekly, but the unique buzz around the unlikely pair was unmatched until the very end of their three-year romance, just days before their planned wedding.

We’re talking music video cameos on yachts, a $2.5 million pink diamond engagement ring and multiple movies together — all of which were lapped up by paparazzi hiding in bushes to catch a glimpse of the Ben and Jen.

RELATED: Why JLo And Ben Affleck Broke Up The First Time Around

In some ways, it was impossible to get away from the couple but, in others, there was a level of mystery that made them all the more enticing.

It was a time when paparazzi were camping outside Paris Hilton’s house to catch a shot of her partying.

Now, this generation’s sought-after “influencers” have obliterated the need for paparazzi by playing out their lives on Instagram for all to see.

Bennifer ended in 2003. Facebook launched in 2004, and a whole new brand of accessible celebrity quickly followed.

In a way, the return of Ben Affleck and JLo has satisfied our constant quest for information by sparking curiosity and not giving us all the answers at once.

They’re fascinating because we don’t know everything about them, not because we do.

RELATED: 23 Things You Totally Forgot You Were Obsessed With In The 2000s

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez and the Return of the 2000s

Then there is the tone of nostalgia that Affleck and Lopez have struck.

The 2000s have been coming back to us in the form of low-rise jeans and a revival of Britney Spears fandom for a number of years now.

This is the normal cyclical nature of trends; we’re never really creative enough to come up with anything new so we just recreate the old stuff.

But the '00s revival has been somewhat different.

It has been as much about correcting the wrongs of our past as it has been about celebrating old trends.

We’re making amends with Spears for contributing to her mental health degradation, we’re holding Justin Timberlake accountable for his role in her downfall and we’re giving Megan Fox a second chance at stardom after criticizing her for calling out the sexualization of women before it was cool to do so.

As for Bennifer, it’s a comeback story and a return to normalcy that we’ve all craved in the past year more than ever before.

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Even the most cynical of us can see that there’s something hopeful about the reunion of a couple whose 17 years apart have been far from smooth sailing.

Affleck’s marriage to Jennifer Garner ended in 2019 after an affair with his nanny and a worsening drinking problem.

Lopez went through a separation of her own from Marc Anthony in 2011 before an almost marriage to Alex Rodriguez ended in a flurry of cheating rumors in early 2021.

Theirs is a story you’d expect to find in one of the many mediocre rom-coms Lopez was starring in between 2003 and now.

Two ex-lovers reunited after almost two decades.

And for the rest of us, a cheesy 2000s movie plot seems a little more attainable.

RELATED: 100 Best 2000s Love Songs To Play On Repeat

Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.