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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Hard work can pay off. Women and people from other underrepresented groups don't have power in most industries and sometimes have to work even harder to be heard and be successful. It's essential to know yourself in order to withstand criticism. Sometimes we have to make our own opportunities.
Positive Role Models
Lopez is depicted as a dedicated mom, extremely hard worker, and multifaceted talent who's constantly trying to improve her acting, singing, and dancing (achieving huge success along the way). She's had to persevere for decades against negative media coverage of her work and people dismissing her as a lightweight. Originally from the Bronx, she now gives back to her community with an initiative to fund Black female- and Latina-owned businesses.
Lopez's dance troupe and group of handlers, staff members, family, and friends are largely Latino and Black. She speaks Spanish in a couple of scenes, stands up for Latino rights in the face of anti-immigrant rhetoric during Trump era. At Super Bowl show, she wears a cape that has an American flag on one side, a Puerto Rican flag on the other; young girls are seen emerging from cage-like structures. Archive footage of Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem and Black Lives Matter protests and immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Lopez has long struggled to be taken seriously, chalks that up to a male-owned industry where sexism and racism are the norm.
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Violence & Scariness
News footage of children in cages at U.S.-Mexico border and being separated from their parents. Lopez recalls that her mom "beat the s--t" out of her and her sisters when they were little. Lopez has bruises on her legs from learning a dance routine.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of tight, revealing outfits and sensual dancing, including pole dancing. Lopez co-produced and starred in movie Hustlers, about strippers, and she comments that it aims to show how women could turn being objectified on its head and empower themselves. She notes that women often worry that if they're too sexy, they won't be taken seriously; these traits should be able to co-exist. Lopez's love life has inspired detailed coverage in media, which has referred to her as a "serial bride." She declines to comment on how she felt about her relationships.
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Variations on "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "ass," "bitch," "damn," "suck," "butt." "Oh my God" and "oh Lord" used as exclamations.
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Products & Purchases
Lots of brands seen on clothes, cars, storefronts. Many media outlets are mentioned or excerpted. Super Bowl, NFL, Hard Rock, FaceTime, Google, Golden Globes, Oscars, etc. End credits describe billion-dollar business that is the Jennifer Lopez brand, including records sold and streamed and film grosses. Hers is a rags-to-riches story, and the riches are seen here in her many homes, private jets, and extensive staff.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Jennifer Lopez documentary Halftime has positive messages about hard work and achieving success, specifically as a Latina woman. It also has language, including "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "bitch," and more. Lopez is regularly seen in tight, revealing outfits, as well as pole dancing for the movie Hustlers. But her personal life isn't the focus of the documentary, beyond some details about her Puerto Rican family and getting her start in New York City. Instead, the film depicts a persevering entrepreneur and celebrity who puts in long hours of work on her dancing, singing, and acting and has earned success in both the music and the film industries. It shows how she now gives back to her community with an initiative to fund Black female- and Latina-owned businesses. She also stands up for Latino rights in the face of anti-immigrant rhetoric. Archive footage shows immigrant children in cages and separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. And Lopez recalls that her mom "beat the s--t" out of her and her sisters when they were little. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though documentaries like this are intended to be flattering, the most absorbing of the breed, this one included, also reveal fresh sides to their subject and new information for viewers. That's no easy task with some celebrities, like J. Lo, who've been in the public eye for decades. Halftime reviews her long career adeptly by weaving past and present together in a single, overarching narrative. The story isn't just Jenny from the Block; the documentary attempts to craft the image of a survivor who's persisted and arrived at a newfound maturity as a person and a performer. It blends media clips from her career with interviews and tape from her then-nonstop rehearsal schedule. It also weaves Trump-era news footage together with the background of her own Puerto Rican family's struggle to make it in America.
Capitalizing on a major year of professional accomplishments and timed with the star's 50th birthday, the film promotes Lopez's endurance as a Latina role model despite a longstanding critical devaluation of her work as a performer, and it ties it all together with the contemporary political moment. "I'm not into politics," Lopez says, then notes that the Trump-era anti-immigrant climate changed all that. She even insists on infusing her Super Bowl halftime show with political messages. The film's final section is the bow on top: She sings "This Land Is Your Land" symbolically at the Biden-Harris inauguration, and end credits detail her nonprofit work and the dollar figure actuality of her brand. Of course, plenty is left out, and it would be particularly fascinating to hear and see Shakira's side of that halftime performance story. But the end result is an uplifting tale about, as one companion calls her, "a woman of color who had the audacity to pursue her dreams."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.