Saturday, May 26, 2012

Why J. Lo Almost Has Me Thinking Straight (Almost!)

It's a shame about the song's backslide on this week's Billboard Hot 100 (from its apparent peak of No. 17 to No. 19), but sometimes it's better to look good than to sell well. And just when I thought Jennifer Lopez couldn't make fortysomething look any better than she did last year in her "I'm Into You" video, she outdoes herself in her latest clip, "Dance Again."

I dare any of today's reigning pop princesses who are decades younger than she is to try this at home. With the video, Lopez does what every great video diva dreams of pulling off: She sells a mediocre song, and she makes being 42 going on 43 (on July 24) and dating a guy nearly half her age (Casper Smart, 25, her video costar and real-life beau) look like the most natural thing in the world.

Last night I saw the video for the first time at DJ Station, and I couldn't take my eyes off of Lopez. I couldn't take my eyes off of Toni Braxton either, when her latest single and video, "I Heart You," came on right afterwards, but for an unfortunately different reason. I adore Braxton, and I'm praying that her next album, Heartstrings & Synagogue Vibes, will be the chart comeback her last two deserved to be (if only for its ultra-original title), but the low-budget production only highlights the fact that Braxton, 44, is trying too desperately to pass off vintage goods as a brand new model. It's a bit of a train wreck. Lopez's youthful glow works because she gives the appearance of not really trying to look half her age. She just does.

Remember years ago when she wore that green dress at the 2000 Grammys, the one that revealed her entire mid-section, top to bottom? (For the record, back then, at 30, she was trying way too hard.) Her co-presenter David Duchovny said something along the lines of "This is the first time in five or six years that I'm sure nobody is looking at me." Casper Smart can say that again!

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