Movie Article

Play It Again, Ben

What would J. Lo and Ben's ''Casablanca'' look like? Here's what we'd like to see if the pair remake the Bogart/Bergman classic

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez | OF ALL THE FOUR-STAR RESTAURANTS... Lopez and Affleck in a new ''Casablanca''? Just imagine the riders...
Image credit: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck: Jennifer Graylock/Retna
OF ALL THE FOUR-STAR RESTAURANTS... Lopez and Affleck in a new ''Casablanca''? Just imagine the riders...

What would J. Lo and Ben's ''Casablanca'' look like?

Who better to update the 1942 masterwork ''Casablanca'' than Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck? Last week, London's Daily Star reported that Hollywood's new power couple, who are costarring in ''Gigli'' (opens Aug. 1) and ''Jersey Girl'' (opens Nov. 7), would follow in the footsteps of Humphrey Bogart (Rick) and Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa) as star-crossed lovers trapped in WWII-era Casablanca. Even though a J. Lo rep later denied that there's any truth to this tabloid report, we couldn't resist wondering what the finished product might look like:

-- Who goes to Casablanca, anyway? New title: ''Aspen.''

-- Never pass up an opportunity for cross promotion: ''Play 'Love Don't Cost a Thing' again, Sam.''

-- No more Ilsa Lund. Call me I. Lu.

-- New dialogue: ''We'll always have the Vanity Fair party.''

-- Rick's Cafe Americain was such a dump. Why not I. Lu's Cuban Restaurant, Clothing Boutique, and Boom-Boom Salsa Dancing Experience?

-- Who plays Ilsa's husband, Victor Laszlo, in the new love triangle? Matt Damon, of course.

-- WWII, German occupation, exit visas? Too complicated. This time, Rick, I. Lu, and Victor have to decide who'll get the last two front-row seats at the Oscars. Rick's sacrifice? Victor totally steals the armrest and horns in on I. Lu's close-ups.

-- Ditch those unflattering trench coats. This time the cast will wear J. Lo's supercomfy stretch terry jumpsuits and poor boy caps!

-- Screw that bummer ending crap. Jennifer's got an improvement for Ilsa: D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

-- Hollywood audiences will nod knowingly when Rick mutters, ''It doesn't take much to see that the problems of two sizable A-list stars don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, unless they call their agents and complain about it.''

Originally posted Apr 18, 2003