Released: 10th February
Seen: 23rd May
In 2020 Jennifer Lopez was robbed, one of the biggest robberies in recent years which we shall not be getting over any time soon… that robbery was, as they often are, perpetrated by the Oscars who denied her a nomination for her absolutely jaw-dropping performance in Hustlers. It was a shocker to everyone that she was snubbed, she was one of the people everyone just assumed were going to be nominated but for some reason, she wasn’t. Still, it was enough for people to really see just what Jennifer could do when given a chance and people were hopeful that her next big film might be able to get her the award she should’ve had 2 years ago… she then made Marry Me, a film that’s basically fine but isn’t going to be getting any awards any time soon.
Marry Me begins with the preparations for a superstar wedding between Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and Bastian (Maluma). Everything’s going well, the wedding will be done on stage to a live audience with an accompanying hit song and everyone is just about to enjoy the big moment when it comes out that Bastian has been having an affair, something Kat learns literally as she’s about to head out on stage.
In a state of shock, in an attempt to reclaim the narrative, Kat makes the bold decision to instead marry a guy who happens to be in the show’s audience who is holding a ‘marry me’ sign. This guy is boring, awkward math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) who goes along with the moment, marrying the superstar. Instead of just admitting the thing was a spur of the moment bit of insanity, Kat and Charlie decide to at least see where this could potentially go which leads to a very simple little standard rom-com plot that does almost exactly what you would expect from that setup.
In a lot of ways, Marry Me is very much a standard rom-com from the weird meet-cute moment in the beginning, awkward dates where both people seem to barely get along, casual reveals that make each person realise that there is more than they see, a moment of separation induced by a misunderstanding and even a desperate run to the airport in order to reconcile. It’s going through the big book of rom-com cliches and making sure it hits every one.
You’re not exactly going to be surprised by anything that happens during Marry Me, there is no great mould being broken here and no one is really trying to subvert the genre. It’s not going to be different from any other rom-com, the jokes are the same as the ones you’ve heard before a few dozen times and in general, the only thing that makes this film unique is its combination of leading actors… fortunately, it’s those leading actors that actually make this film a somewhat pleasant watch.
Marry Me smartly picked J-Lo and Owen Wilson as this strange odd couple who couldn’t be more different if they tried and oh boy do they lay that on thick, Jlo being elevated to her ultimate form of beauty and grace and Owen Wilson being a complete nerd who honestly blends into crowd scenes so well you would forget he’s even in the film at times but when those two are together it’s palpable, there’s a connection and a back and forth that works more often than it doesn’t. Sure there’s times when Jlo is doing the heavy lifting because they really wrote Owen’s character as a stick in the mud who doesn’t seem to change at all, but it still actually kind of works.
There are even a few moments of just inspired sweet fun here, from pleather-clad nuns to a mathlete team learning to control their fear through dance. Marry Me’s little glimpses of creativity help to elevate a film that’s just leaning hard on the charm of its leads who really are just putting it all out there. Even the inspired supporting cast of Sarah Silverman who was just there to throw in quick one liners helped make at least a few chuckles come out when they happened.
Look, no one could or should have expected Marry Me to be anything more than fine and guess what? It’s fine, it’s absolutely fine. It’s a funny charming little romantic comedy that spends 2 hours being charming and adequate for what it’s trying to be. There might not be that much about the film that’s exactly memorable or interesting but if you’re looking for a film that’ll provide an adequate amount of entertainment for a few hours then that’s fine… look, I’m just really happy to see a film with a romance that isn’t straight up abuse, still recovering from the horror of 365 Days: This Day, anything above “abuse passed off as romance” is a win!