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Ministry of Gossip

Is J.Lo at a crossroads?

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

"El Cantante" is a first for Jennifer Lopez in several ways.

It's the first film she produced with her new company, Nuyorican Productions; the first time she has starred in a film with her husband, Marc Anthony; and the first film she has opened to less than $4 million since the oh so fateful and never quite forgotten "Gigli."

Back in the early part of this century, Lopez, like the economy, seemed unstoppable. She sang. She danced. She acted. She dated the biggest stars (Sean "Puffy" Combs before he became P. Diddy, Ben Affleck at his height). Everything she touched turned to gold.

But then something changed. She became too popular. Too diva-esque. We might not have cared if she hadn't continued to pass herself off as "Jenny From the Block." (No Jenny I know gets a six-carat, $1.3-million pink diamond from her movie star boyfriend.)

Now we find Lopez at a crossroads. Her career is not quite a shambles -- the successful "Monster-in-Law" came out just two years ago, and her Spanish-language album was at the top of the charts. But "El Cantante" hasn't helped her cause.

Here's a look back at what this American-born Latina diva has done right and wrong over the course of her 16-year career.

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