Perhaps the ultimate return tribute that MTV paid to the movie that made its house style a screen staple was J. Lo’s 2003 video, directed by David LaChappelle and featuring a re-enactment of Flashdance. (Of course, this MTV version is more economical, sacrificing narrative coherence to tell the story in just four minutes of quick-cut scenes.)
In fact, the re-enactment was such a perfect shot-for-shot homage that it engendered two lawsuits. One was a copyright infringement suit from Paramount, rights-holder to Flashdance. The other was from Maureen Marder, the construction-worker/dancer who’d sold her life story rights to the makers of Flashdance. She’d long ago sued them, too, complaining of exploitation for having sold the rights for a mere $2,300 to filmmakers who’d grossed $150 million at the domestic box office. Now, she argued, J. Lo had, by remaking Flashdance, stolen her life story again. (Marder’s suit was dismissed, and Lopez’s record label settled out of court with Paramount.)
In a way, of course, Lopez was re-enacting her own life story, that of the Bronx girl who’d used street moves to dance her way to fame. Unlike Flashdance, “I’m Glad” starred a woman who could perform her own dance moves.