For a while back in the 2000s, Jennifer Lopez dominated the rom-com genre. After something of an absence, and a terrific performance in 2019's Hustlers, Lopez returns to familiar territory in Marry Me, the sweet-natured story of a famous musician who elects to marry a random stranger in the crowd. Owen Wilson plays Lopez' on-screen paramour, and the movie is conveniently lined up for your Valentine's Day pleasure.
To get you ready for the movie, we've rounded up five movies that prove why Lopez is one of the queens of the rom-com genre.
1. The Wedding Planner (2001)
At the peak of her popularity, with her chart-topping albums and movies running in tandem, J-Lo took the lead in this irresistibly cheesy rom-com. She plays the eponymous wedding planner who is saved from a runaway bin by (who else?) an implausibly hunky bloke. He's played by Matthew McConaughey, pre-McConaissance, and in the midst of his 'leaning on things in movie posters' period. Will this mismatched chalk and cheese couple get it together? Of course, they will. Given it was made in the relatively more innocent climes of 2001, The Wedding Planner even has the gall to play its fairy tale conceit straight without a hint of irony – but that's exactly why it retains something of a fanbase.
2. Maid in Manhattan (2002)
Having shared the screen with Matthew McConaughey, Lopez was then paired with, erm, Ralph Fiennes for this escapist rom-com that very much cleaves to formula. J-Lo plays a lowly cleaner in a glamorous Manhattan hotel (prepare to suspend that disbelief), but when a wealthy politician (Fiennes) becomes smitten with her, everything turns around. It's effectively a twist on the eternal Cinderella story, only with A-list actors in the leads and a contemporary setting. There are also scene-stealing supporting turns from Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci and Bob Hoskins, who help mitigate the somewhat less-than-convincing central romance.
3. Shall we Dance? (2004)
Music is the food of love in this remake of an overlooked 1996 Japanese movie. Lopez circles the dance floor with perennial silver fox Richard Gere, in a story of a bored real estate broker who's compelled to take up ballroom on the basis of an attractive dance instructor. While Lopez and Gere cook up the chemistry, the soundtrack showcases the debut single of The Pussycat Dolls: a cover of the Dean Martin classic 'Sway.'
4. Monster-in-Law (2005)
Legendary Oscar-winner and activist Jane Fonda was lured out of retirement to appear opposite Lopez in this raucous comedy. Fonda plays the archetypal mother-in-law from hell, out to ruin the life of her prospective daughter-in-law Lopez in a movie that stretches its one central joke to the limit. Despite negative reviews, the combined star power of Fonda and Lopez was affirmed when the movie swung to a $150 million gross against a relatively meagre $43 million budget.
5. What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012)
This anthology of interconnecting romantic stories weaves together various madcap plots fronted by A-list actors. It's based on the 1984 pregnancy guide of the same name and features Lopez as a dolphin photographer (don't ask) who has problems conceiving. To that end, she adopts a child from Ethiopia, just one of the many tangents in a movie that also stars Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks and Anna Kendrick.