REVIEW: Superstar singer J-Lo tries to find harmony with random guy Owen Wilson in rom-com ‘Marry Me’
SALT LAKE CITY — Wish fulfillment plays a huge part in the appeal of romantic stories, whether it’s imagining love in a different time, place, or lifestyle than the one in which you currently reside.
In the new romantic comedy Marry Me, starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, the big ask of the audience is to believe an international music superstar could somehow connect romantically with a nice, average guy who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
In the non-movie world, that fantasy probably leads to the celebrity obtaining a restraining order against average guy.
But this is not the real world, this is rom-com movie-world and anything is possible! Nevertheless, your initial reaction to the premise will probably determine how you feel about Marry Me.
Lopez plays music superstar Kat Valdez who is half of the ultimate celebrity power couple with fellow artist Bastian (played by Colombian singer Maluma). The two are planning to get married in front of a global audience of fans where they will also debut their new combined single called “Marry Me.” But right before she goes onstage for the wedding, Kat learns that Bastian has been unfaithful.
While still reeling from that surprise, she spies a stranger in the crowd named Charlie (Wilson) who just happens to be holding a “Marry Me” sign that someone handed him. In a moment of impulse, Kat pulls Charlie up on stage and marries him instead.
From there the rest of the movie explores what might happen with such an unlikely pairing, and if people from such different worlds can find true love.
THINGS I LIKED
Marry Me has many elements that a good romantic comedy needs, including attractive and/or likeable lead actors, a mix of light moments and dramatic ones, good supporting roles and a few roadblocks for the couple to overcome before the inevitable happy ending. The destination isn’t so much the point of this movie as the journey to it.
J-Lo has proved the last few years she has some dramatic chops, though they’re not as necessary in this story. She does, however, manage to portray a believable vulnerability mixed in with her global superstar persona. As a bonus, Lopez has a bunch of new songs on the soundtrack, a couple of which (“Marry Me,” “On My Way“) I really enjoyed.
Owen Wilson does his usual thing as Charlie, a cool math teacher who wants his tween daughter to overcome her stage fright in the state math competition, but also is conflicted by his growing attraction to Kat and his insecurity about being a part of the same world as someone like her.
Marry Me is rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive material. I watched it with my 17-year old daughter and didn’t feel like there was anything too worrisome. The run time is 1 hr 52 mins.
I thought Marry Me was decent, but not great. The biggest distraction for me was the random appearance and disappearance of the paparazzi, which, if this story happened in real life would NEVER cease to hound them.
Fans of J-Lo will probably love it–her wardrobe alone is almost a character by itself, and I think fans of rom-coms will at least like the movie. Many husbands/boyfriends will probably end up seeing it whether they want to or not, since it’s coming out over Valentine’s Day weekend.
Final Rating: TWO out of FOUR stars
WHERE TO WATCH
Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.
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