4 JLo Movies to Watch Before ‘Marry Me’ Comes Out

Jennifer Lopez (center) as Kat Valdez in Marry Me, directed by Kat Coiro.

To prepare for JLo’s new movie, Marry Me, I went into the JLo vault and rewatched some of my favorite movies of hers. My movie marathon made me realize how much these films shaped my career path and how much JLo inspired me to be a boss-ass woman. While I don’t think it should be JLo’s responsibility to save the rom-com, I’m glad there’s another movie where she’s a hard-working, badass woman who deserves a chance at love. Seeing her play these roles, opened up my imagination to the possibilities I could pursue. So if you find JLo inspirational, revisit these beloved films with me. Now’s the perfect time to celebrate her amazing career as we get ready to watch her new romantic comedy, hitting theaters on February 11. 

Selena (1997)

I couldn’t make a JLo movie list without this gem. Plus, JLo plays a famous singer named Kat Valdez in Marry Me, so it’s a great addition to your pregame. Based on the life of our beloved Queen of Tejano, JLo transforms into Selena in this timeless biopic. Not only is JLo iconic here, she honestly gives me chills by bringing Selena back to life. One of my favorite parts in this movie is when Selena’s dad has his scenes about being Mexican-American. The idea of never being enough for either side of the border is something that needs to be on screen more. I’m excited to see how JLo portrays another singer other than the great Selena. After the Superbowl Halftime Show in 2020, I’ve been wanting to see JLo slay on stage again. 

Maid in Manhattan (2002)

One of the first movies that introduced me to the different boroughs of New York City, this classic is a Cinderella story. JLo plays Marisa, a single mom who is a maid at a high-end hotel in Manhattan. I think my favorite thing about Marisa is how well she knows everyone she works with; she does her job well and goes above and beyond for some of the guests. Humbled by a chance at living the life of someone who could afford to stay in a suite for more than one night, she still manages to be herself even with a small lie to get a politician to notice her. Maid in Manhattan also has a scene where Marisa and her mom hash it out—Marisa wants to be more than a maid, and her mother wants her daughter to pay her bills. Relatable! In the end, Marisa gets her man and continues to focus on her career.

The Wedding Planner (2001)

This was the movie that changed my Barbie playtime plots to wedding planning scenes – for a long time, I wanted to be a wedding planner like JLo. This romance has all the classic tropes: forbidden love, love at first sight, and enemies to lovers. Not to mention the save-the-day, It Takes Two horse scene where Eddie (Matthew McConaughey) saves Maria (Jennifer Lopez) from a spooked gallop at a potential wedding venue. Watching this growing up, I remember Maria being Latina but I guess in 2001, Italian was close enough. Buy yourself some M&Ms and rewatch this for JLo’s classic wedding vibes before we watch a bigger, more (or less?!?!?) spontaneous wedding in Marry Me.

Second Act (2018) 

I will never forget the power this movie had the first time I watched it on a flight home. The white girl who sat next to me watched my screen the entire time. About halfway through, she finally started watching it on hers – that’s the power of JLo. In this recent film, JLo plays a hardworking woman named Maya, who deserves a promotion. It’s all about faking it until you make it, using your street smarts to compete with the Ivy League elite in corporate America. Before she lands the job of her dreams, Maya tells her old boss off in one of my favorite scenes. When he tells her, “it’s not easy getting a job for a woman your age,” Maya stares him right in the eye and says, “watch me.”  I feel like the fake-it-till-you-make-it ethos in Second Act follows JLo right into Marry Me. What else would you have marrying someone on the spot and then making it work? 

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