Striding down a Netflix runway already well-trodden by the likes of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish (they’re all at it), this backstage documentary promises a similarly ‘intimate’ peek at fellow global superstar, Jennifer Lopez.
Yet Halftime genuinely delivers on that intimacy, revealing a more sympathetic and ‘real’ (albeit carefully curated and highly authorised) side to this multi-hyphenate glamazon than you’ve likely ever seen before.
Kicking off in 2019, Halftime is constructed around two pivotal midpoint moments: Lopez’s 50th birthday and preparations for the Superbowl, AKA ‘the biggest stage in entertainment’ (at least in the US), as well as hitting the awards trail for her Oscar-tipped role in Hustlers (she played a stripper).
Previously declaring ‘I’m not into politics’, Lopez finds herself compelled to speak out when she’s booked to perform at the legendary half-time slot alongside Shakira – calling out the NFL’s racist implication that just one Latina singer isn’t enough to carry the show.
‘My whole life I’ve been battling. Battling to be heard, to be seen, to be taken seriously,’ says Lopez, wiggling into a plunging leather studded leotard and wrapping her thighs around a pole. ‘Now the world is listening to me. What am I going to say?’
Let’s be honest, J-Lo’s two cents about US immigration policy is not what’ll get us all streaming Halftime. As she herself knows.
With a lack of romantic gossip on offer (Lopez has clearly had enough of being defined by the men in her life), what we do get dished is some private family time with her twins, some never-seen-before early home archive, fun (if disorientating) flashbacks, fierce dancing and some tearful straight-to-camera confession about how much it hurt to be the butt (and it’s shocking how racist those Noughties gags about her now look) of so much relentless media negativity about her lack of talent and being a ‘Hollywood serial wife’.
‘It was hard when people treat you as a joke,’ she admits. And you really do believe it hurt.
Halftime makes Lopez seem human in a way that singing ‘I’m still Jenny from the Block’ never could.
Lopez comes across as tough, mainly thanks (but no thanks) to a hypercritical, ‘super-complicated’ mum who taught her never to depend on a man. And whether you buy into her reinvention as an ethnic feminist champion, it’s hard not to be by moved by her vulnerability.
A woman who, as the end credits remind us, has sold over 80million records and generated over $5billion (£4bn) in consumer sales, can still feel like she’s not good enough.
Even if Lopez never wins that Oscar, Halftime is sure to win you over.
Halftime is available on Netflix.