Gillian Flynn
December 26, 2003 AT 05:00 AM EST

Bennifer gives one of the year’s Great Performances

Sure, we found their mobster-meets-lesbian turn in Gigli ”humiliatingly awful!” But that’s just one of the myriad reasons J. Lo and Ben Affleck — Bennifer, to their adoring public — kept us ”white-knuckled, spellbound, and occasionally creeped out!” We loved their work at the Oscars, where a mint-green-muumuu-clad Ms. Lopez flashed that 6.1-carat pink diamond, and her fixer-upper Ben ”bravely pushed the boundaries!” of self-tanning. July’s Dateline interview continued the ”disturbing!” spectacle, especially when Jen swore Ben wore the pants and then proved the opposite by repeatedly interrupting him (”Slyly ironic!”). The wedding details — when, where, and why the hell do they need a transparent dance floor over a swimming pool? — made for a tense buildup to the crisis moment, when a tabloid outed Ben’s visit to Brandi’s Exotic Nightclub (”Deliciously lowbrow!”) with Christian Slater and Tara Reid (”Deliciously lowbrow!”). In the dramatic fallout, they issued a statement blaming the postponement of the wedding on media frenzy (”laughable, considering hundreds of paparazzi still bear Bennifer hump marks on their legs!”). We spent days on edge (”Ring off? Ring on?”) as Ben grew back the facial hair (”Subversive!”) and Jen swam forlornly in the sea (”Waterlogged!”), putting on her best sad face for the phalanx of photographers. Ah, but the reconciliation was snappy, and the lovebirds are ubiquitous and diamond-encrusted once again. Reunion Tour highlights included a visit to Georgia, where Ben bought a hunting permit (”Weird!”), and an appearance at a Red Sox game, where Jen shed her diva image by not once demanding white candles or 350-thread-count sheets (”Stunningly unconvincing!”). And it’s still not over, folks. With that phantom wedding to look forward to and their other big-screen collaboration, Jersey Girl, due for analysis in ’04, we predict Bennifer will ”delight kids 8 to 80 for ages to come!”

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