Jennifer Lopez's romantic comedies, ranked (from 'Shotgun Wedding' to 'Gigli')
Jennifer Lopez is singlehandedly keeping the romantic comedy afloat.
After last year’s “Marry Me” with Owen Wilson, the actress and singer is back for more heart-fueled hijinks in "Shotgun Wedding" (now streaming on Prime Video). In the film, Lopez plays a laidback woman named Darcy who gets cold feet about her perfectionist fiancé, Tom (Josh Duhamel), and their destination wedding in the Philippines. But on the day of ceremony, the wedding party is taken hostage by pirates, and the unhappy couple is forced to work together to save them.
Here’s how the movie stacks up against the very best (and worst) of JLo’s rom-coms:
'Shotgun Wedding': Critics give mixed reviews for Jennifer Lopez's new rom-com
'Worst idea in the world': Jennifer Lopez vents Super Bowl frustrations in Netflix doc
10. 'Gigli' (2003)
"Gigli" is an infamously bad movie and box-office bomb – but it's somehow even more offensive and bizarre than everything you've heard. Ben Affleck plays a mobster who kidnaps a prosecutor's mentally challenged son (Justin Bartha), who is single-mindedly obsessed with the TV show "Baywatch." Lopez plays a lesbian tasked with aiding Affleck's character, who repeatedly insists that he can "turn her." Al Pacino pops in as a trigger-happy mob boss, while Lopez and Affleck are given some of the most hilariously awkward sex scenes since "Showgirls." ("It's turkey time ... gobble, gobble.")
9. 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' (2012)
Adapted from Heidi Murkoff's 1984 pregnancy guide, this ill-conceived comedy reduces pregnant women to shrill, hormonal momzillas and dads into sensitive, stroller-pushing super-soldiers. Thankfully for Lopez, she's spared some of the more cringey material that co-stars Cameron Diaz and Elizabeth Banks are saddled with, and brings some genuine pathos to a photographer named Holly who's pursuing an adoption despite her husband's (Rodrigo Santoro) reluctance.
8. 'Shotgun Wedding' (2023)
"Shotgun Wedding" is one of the more unsettling rom-coms in recent memory, with lengthy scenes of frantic wedding guests running from armed attackers, and JLo dropping grenades on pirates as she ziplines through a jungle. The actress gamely tries to overcome the script's tonal whiplash, but she ultimately gets upstaged by co-stars D'Arcy Carden, Lenny Kravitz and the deadpan Jennifer Coolidge, who leads her fellow hostages in a singalong of Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" in the movie's best moment.
7. 'Shall We Dance?' (2004)
Lopez and Richard Gere could create sparks with wet cardboard. But despite some longing glances and zesty dance routines, the charismatic actors hardly get to interact in this otherwise unengaging dramedy about a lawyer named John (Gere) looking to spice up his life by taking ballroom classes, which he hides from his wife (Susan Sarandon) and kids. Lopez plays a defeated dance instructor who's been burned by past relationships and helps John rekindle his passionless marriage.
6. 'Jersey Girl' (2004)
We went back and forth about even including this one because – spoiler alert! – Lopez dies in childbirth within the first 10 minutes, leaving Affleck's grieving Ollie to raise their precocious daughter (Raquel Castro) alone. But her luminous presence hangs over the rest of the film, even as Ollie finds a potential new love interest in a nosy grad student (Liv Tyler). The movie makes poignant use of Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen needle drops. Plus, Affleck gets to perform a bloody musical number from "Sweeney Todd" for a bunch of elementary school kids, which should really be a prerequisite for all rom-coms moving forward.
Snubbed! Ben Affleck, Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga miss out on 2022 Oscar nominations
5. 'Marry Me' (2022)
If you've seen the trailers for "Marry Me," then you likely have a pretty good idea of how things shake out for Kat (Lopez), the spurned superstar who proposes to a scruffy math teacher (Wilson) after her famous fiancé (Maluma) is caught cheating. The movie has a cute premise and memorable title track, which is played ad nauseam throughout the film. The meta script also gives Lopez a chance to dig deep with some emotional scenes about life under a microscope. Unfortunately, Wilson's performance is flatter than a dry erase board, and Lopez has much more chemistry with the dreamy Maluma. Can we get a proper rom-com with the two of them?
Oscars 2022: You're late on the Oscar race. It's OK. Watch these movies tonight.
4. 'The Back-Up Plan' (2010)
Sacrilege, maybe, but we were thoroughly smitten by this critically lambasted rom-com, which holds just 17% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Zoe (Lopez) is a pet store owner who undergoes artificial insemination right before falling in love with a cheesemonger (Alex O'Loughlin). O'Loughlin is a magnetic and highly underrated leading man, while Michaela Watkins and Melissa McCarthy threaten to steal the show with their droll supporting turns.
3. 'Maid in Manhattan' (2002)
"Maid in Manhattan" has all the hallmarks of a JLo romantic comedy: cute kids, rich suitors, makeover montages and someone running a background check to ensure she has no ulterior motives. (Yes, that has happened in multiple JLo movies.) Based on a story by John Hughes, the film depicts a classic case of mistaken identity, as hotel maid Marisa (Lopez) is confused for a socialite and courted by a well-meaning politician (Ralph Fiennes, whose effortless charm makes us wonder why he hasn't appeared in at least 8,000 more rom-coms).
2. 'Monster-in-Law' (2005)
The deliciously silly “Monster-in-Law” pits the kind, hard-working Charlie (Lopez) against the wealthy, acid-tongued Viola (Jane Fonda), who will stop at nothing to ensure her son (Michael Vartan) doesn't marry Charlie. Wanda Sykes plays the unruffled mediator between the two women, while Adam Scott has a questionable supporting turn as Charlie's gay best friend. There's deception, grief, generational trauma and attempted murder by way of nut allergies. And aren't those the pillars on which all great drama is built?
1. 'The Wedding Planner' (2001)
Decades from now, when the human race has succumbed to global warming and extraterrestrials inhabit the Earth, they will find a lone Blu-ray of "The Wedding Planner." It is then they'll realize that mankind was, at one time, good, with Lopez as our winsome rom-com overlord. Adam Shankman's pitch-perfect film – released the same month as her No. 1 album “J.Lo” – plays into all of the singer's strengths as a leading lady: Organizing weddings with army-like precision, Mary (Lopez) is pragmatic, scintillating, resourceful and hopelessly romantic. After an all-time meet cute involving a runaway dumpster, Mary learns that her hunky rescuer (Matthew McConaughey) is engaged to another woman (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras) – and she's tasked with planning their special day. Hijinks and heartache ensue, but it all ends with the sweetness of a brown M&M.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jennifer Lopez's top 10 rom-coms, ranked: J-Lo films you need to see