Written by: John Rogers, Tami Sagher, Harper Dill
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Chloe Coleman, Sarah Silverman
When operating in the worlds of romantic comedies, there needs to be a certain suspension of disbelief at the action occurring within them. Especially when they star Jennifer Lopez, seeing as some of the situations are absolutely absurd to the point no rational human being could possibly think this could happen. Marry Me very much falls into that category and while several of its unrealistic aspects can be forgiven, it fails at the one job it needed to do well, creating a romantic pair with actual chemistry.
Set to debut a long-awaited new track while marrying her fiance, Kat (Jennifer Lopez) learns about his infidelity and when hearing about the heartbreak, chooses a random man, Charlie (Owen Wilson) out of the crowd and marries him. As they deal with the fallout of the situation, their differences may be what makes them a good match.
The ever-endearing Jennifer Lopez has never lost what has made her special in both the world of music and acting. She very much knows her brand and sticks to them except for when she goes completely powerhouse in something like Hustlers. You know what you can expect when she puts herself as the lead of a romantic comedy but with each new feature, it begs the question of whether or not the couple at the center of it makes the story worth watching. In the case of Marry Me, it must be said it leaves plenty lacking.
Coming together in this wholly unlikely union is Kat, a superstar artist, and the very humble teacher, Charlie. Their union very much matches the romantic-comedy coupling of two individuals in very different strata and while both of these individual actors portray their characters well, this film never fully makes a convincing argument as to how this whole narrative could play out. Charlie ends up holding up a sign of the card title and Kat picks him out to marry him, which he inconceivably says yes. Sure, there should be some awkwardness when they first get to know each other but as the film progresses, the actions do not justify where it goes with the story. This comes down to the fault of the screenplay, but also the lack of chemistry between the two actors.
Owen Wilson felt like the obvious choice for this role as he knows how to portray your regular Joe Schmoe like the best of them but perhaps he was a little too tame for what this story required. The more ridiculous nature of this plot perhaps needed someone bringing a bit more to the role to actually make them someone Kat would do this crazy act for. Lopez certainly came to play with her portrayal and she tries to sell this plot but Wilson lags behind and as a result, drags everything else with him.
These critiques certainly do not take away from the several cute moments held within this film that make it worth watching as a whole. Much of this comes from the supporting cast and the vibrancy they bring to the story. They’re the ones caught in the whirlwind of this entire situation. John Bradley, Sarah Silverman, and Chloe Coleman prove to be best in show in this regard. They essentially represent the “straight man” characters trying to look at the reality of this arrangement when the two leads seemingly float along with what this situation means outside of the broader scope.
In its construction, Marry Me feels like it could have been made at any point of Jennifer Lopez’s career, which in a way makes it a bit timeless other than the obvious uses of social media like Instagram and TikTok. It very much shows what well she can tap into and seemingly always gives a charming performance, even if in this case she gets let down by the co-star attached to the feature with her. Nothing in the story will completely surprise outside of the original inciting incident for this all. If you know what you’re getting into and fully buy into what this film offers then fun will be had. However, its lack of a convincing couple amidst the complete lunacy of the plot and character decisions left much to be desired for this reviewer.