sun 27/11/2022

Marry Me review - Jennifer Lopez vehicle delivers | reviews, news & interviews

Marry Me review - Jennifer Lopez vehicle delivers

Marry Me review - Jennifer Lopez vehicle delivers

Romcom is sweet but not saccharine

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez marry on stage after her plans go disastrously wrong

Lots of drama follows well-worn paths; just as we expect that in a tragedy that Chekhov's gun (or variants of it) will deliver the denouement, so we know that in a romcom the two leads will end up together. So – no spoilers, but you know the drill – Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson's characters overcome all sorts of obstacles that could thwart their romance.

Only in Kat Coiro's film (based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby), it's after possibly the most preposterous set-up yet.

But it delivers. Lopez is pop star Kat Valdez, about to marry her equally famous beau, singer Bastian (Maluma), at a gig-cum-livestreamed wedding ceremony with millions watching. But when somebody posts footage of him cheating on Kat with her assistant just as they are about to exchange vows onstage, she decides – as you do – to marry some random bloke from the audience.

That bloke is middle school teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson, bringing his usual charm), recently divorced, who’s at the gig with his 12-year-old daughter, Lou (Chloe Coleman) and his teacher chum from school, Parker (Sarah Silverman).

The usual romcom tropes are “how can two people from different worlds meet”, followed by “how can two people from different worlds discover they're not so different”, and then how do they overcome multiple misunderstandings and false starts. But here the meeting bit is sorted in that incredible suspension of disbelief, and the only obstacle is the incompatibility of their lifestyles. Charlie goes to bed at 8pm (“to read”), while Kat's cameraman (one of her many assistants) captures her every move throughout the day to post on social media.

This is a Lopez vehicle (she's one of the producers) and its female creative slant runs through the movie. Even though her manager Colin (John Bradley) says at one point that Kat “is north of 35”, the fact that Bastian is considerably younger is never mentioned. Quite right: James Bond has been bedding much younger women from Dr No onwards, so why should it be? The movie also addresses how the entertainment industry fetishises youth, and the ownership that much of the media takes of people's lives the minute they step into the limelight, willingly or not.

The set-up is mad but the story has enough twists to make us question if Kat and Charlie will eventually make it through and, for those interested in the "rom" part of romcom, sends a positive message about living in the moment. Silverman is good value, while Lopez and Wilson are both extremely likeable, with real on-screen chemistry – and Lopez can really bang out those lovesick ballads.

This is a Lopez vehicle and its female creative slant runs through the movie


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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