February 10th, 2022
MOVIE: MARRY ME
STARRING: JENNIFER LOPEZ, OWEN WILSON, JOHN BRADLEY, MALUMA, SARAH SILVERMAN
DIRECTED BY: KAT COIRO
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 2 STARS (Out of 4)
From constant superhero movies, to the conflicting competition of streaming services, or the difficulty to get independent films funded, the state of cinema is rough. Not that I think it won’t survive, but I mean it in a much broader state, where a romantic movie like Marry Me does not really feel like a movie at all. It stars Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, both charming as ever, in a screenplay that’s as predictable as a 90’s sitcom plot. That’s not to say it’s all bad, but Marry Me is a glossy production, filled to the brim with sponsorship logos, footage of concert performances, and J-Lo dressed to the nines. This is a large-scale advertising production, masked as a romantic comedy, and if I were to judge, I’d say Marry Me is better to just leave standing at the altar.
The premise involves Charlie Gilbert, a single dad, math teacher and enthusiast, who does not get out much. His relationship with his daughter Lou (Chloe Coleman) is distant, his divorce taking a toll on their connection. When co-worker and friend Parker (Sarah Silverman) has an extra ticket to see the live event of pop music star Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and boyfriend-musician Bastian (Latin-music artist- Maluma) tying the knot, in front of thousands and thousands of screaming fans, Charlie gives in for a night out. But soon, the news travels fast that Bastian has cheated on Kat with her assistant, so right then and there, she decides to say yes to Charlie, who is holding a sign that says ‘Marry Me’. Instead of letting the moment pass, Kat and her team of life managers- led by Game of Thrones’ John Bradley as the pesky one of the group- decides to go with it, with hopes to give romance a chance with this regular guy. Time is spent together, nights of bowling, a romantic dinner, and eventually Kat is meeting Charlie’s students, and before we know it, these two realize they just might be right for one another.
Where the premise of Marry Me is going is not difficult to figure out, except for some gender roles swapped in the typical rom-com road map, but what cannot be denied is that Marry Me has charm. It starts with Lopez, an absolute superstar, a beauty that can virtually do no wrong, and reminding us here that romantic comedies are something she’s good at. Wilson as well is delightful, never too annoying, and often harmless enough to not threaten the audience. But at the same time as the charm works, don’t these two deserve better than this? The premise of Marry Me is on the same level of a movie such as Sister Act or Moonstruck, but neither of those films looked this glossy, and genuinely felt like cinema instead of a photoshoot.
The direction is by Kat Coiro, written by Harper Dill and John Rogers- working off of a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby. The production of this movie has zero stamp that an actual director is behind it. Intertwined between the charming and sometimes romantic beats, are periodical sequences of J-Lo performing her music live, which often looks like a concert documentary. When we’re not seeing the superstar singing or performing in music videos, the movie has Kat and Charlie walking the red carpet, or split screen sequences with a live-Instagram feed. If I have to see Jimmy Fallon three or four times in your movie, I’m not having a good time, and nothing kills the moment more than the lame presence of late night’s ultimate hack. Marry Me has these fillers simply because they’re lazy, have contractual and money obligations to feature all this extra stuff, and it’s easy to make.
Overall my rating of Marry Me might be confusing to some. I’m negative about this movie and I would never fault anyone for telling me they enjoy it. It’s Jennifer Lopez, the incredibly talented, and unstoppably charismatic actor. Her and Wilson have unexpected chemistry. That may all be good, but this is not a movie by any stretch, it’s more of a 90-minute commercial. You can enjoy Marry Me as much as you want, but if this is the future of romantic comedies or cinema in general, for me I don’t think this is a marriage that is going to last long. Frankly, I would much rather just ask for a divorce.
MARRY ME IS PLAYING IN THEATERS THIS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 11TH, 2022
Written by: Leo Brady