Jennifer Lopez Explains Why She's Returning to Romantic Comedy With 'Second Act'

Jennifer Lopez explained to Jimmy Fallon why she felt that it was time for her to return to romantic comedy, when she stopped by The Tonight Show on Friday.

The longtime rom-com star said that she wanted to do her upcoming film Second Act because "You need that funny, quirky look at life. That romantic look at life. I think things are tough sometimes and we need that escape."

Lopez has starred in rom-coms such as Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, Monster-in-Law and Shall We Dance?, but hasn't appeared in a traditional iteration of the genre since The Back-up Plan in 2010. Second Act follows a 40-something retail worker (Lopez) who reinvents her life when a friend makes her a fake resume that lands her a job at a prestigious Madison Avenue firm.

Lopez said that she personally requested that her co-star on Second Act be Milo Ventimiglia, whose most recent claim to fame is playing Jack Pearson on This Is Us. "There was only one person I ever saw, and it was Milo ... And watching him play a dad, I was like, 'Ugh, oh my god,'" Lopez said.

Though the volume of romantic comedies has famously been on the decline in recent years, 2018 seems to be sparking a renaissance: As Mia Galuppo wrote in The Hollywood Reporter in June, "The genre has found new champions in Netflix and independent financier-distributors."

Rom-coms have particularly been in demand at Netflix, which launched this year's well-reviewed Set It Up, The Kissing Booth and To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Meanwhile, STXfilms is producing Second Act, while The Fyzz Facility is responsible for Destination Wedding, out Aug. 24. Warner Bros.' Crazy Rich Asians, released this weekend, is a rare big-studio rom-com to be entering theaters.

Also, during her Tonight Show appearance, Lopez addressed how it felt to learn that she would be receiving MTV's Video Vanguard Award at the Video Music Awards on Monday. “I got so emotional, it was embarrassing almost," she said. "It’s been surreal. When your idols get these rewards, it’s hard to imagine yourself [getting one.]"

Second Act will be released on Nov. 21.